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No intention to promote government affiliated candidates: MIFCO

MIFCO states that they have no intention to promote candidates in the elections and asserted that such conduct was never within their plan before nor in the future in response to questions regarding their tweets advocating for PNC primary winners.

Aishath Shuba Solih
27 February 2024, MVT 19:28
MIFCO senior figures attending Parliament Committee on State Owned Enterprises today.
Aishath Shuba Solih
27 February 2024, MVT 19:28

Managing Director of Maldives Industrial Fisheries Company (MIFCO), Ahmed Shamah Rasheed has stated that the company has no intentions of promoting the candidates of People’s National Congress (PNC) who are contending in the upcoming parliamentary elections.

This statement was in response to an inquiry by the parliament who had summoned him to the Committee on State Owned Enterprises following the promotion of several members who had triumphed the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and PNC coalition primary elections on the official X account of MIFCO.

The posts uploaded by MIFCO during this time had felicitated the state affiliated candidates on behalf of the CEO of MIFCO and stated that MIFCO will persevere in their initiatives to facilitate affairs for the fishermen while easing their concerns.

Alongside these tweets, MIFCO had posted photographs of these election candidates being presented with gifts.

However, following criticism regarding this issue, MIFCO had removed all these posts.

During the interrogation following his summon to the parliament’s State-Owned Enterprises Committee, General Manager of MIFCO’s Project Department, Muaz Ali had highlighted that the company grants each guest and dignitaries with a gift hamper as a general policy upon their visit.

“This is done as a marketing strategy, as a courtesy. It is an old, long-standing tradition. Especially taking photos and exchanging gifts when met with individuals who work closely with the people,” he justified the company's actions.

Addressing this issue, Shamah said that these posts were uploaded without approval from above alongside a lack of careful consideration. He further assured that measures have been implemented to ensure such conduct does not repeat in the future.

“We have no intentions to promote a specific candidate through utilizing the resources at MIFCO. That was never a plan and that was never desired either,” Shamah affirmed.

He stated that candidates running for presidency and parliamentary seats are members who are beloved and supported by many citizens and therefore, promoting MIFCO's product with such members is the outlook that the company embraces.

He added that with the nature of feedback received from this implementation, the company has consequently determined to further abstain from such conduct.

Privatization and Corporatization Board (PCB) were further questioned regarding this case to which the Board President, Hamdhy Ageel stated that MIFCO is within the stages of being converted to a state owned enterprise. He highlighted that therefore, the composition and management guidelines of the company has also not yet been received.

Hamdhy stated that due to MIFCO remaining in a transfer process, no actions have been taken yet.

“Regardless, the meeting held this morning [with MIFCO] prompted this same response,” he said.

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