Island Aviation Services (IAS)' Managing Director Mohamed Rizvi admitted in parliament on Tuesday that a company desk of Maldivian, the national airline, was used in Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) campaign office during the presidential elections held in September 2018.
Island Aviation sold PPM tickets worth MVR 4.8 million on a payback at a later time basis for the party's candidate, former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom's campaign rally trips. The party recently paid back Maldivian for the flights and finished the transaction.
Faafu Atoll, Bileddhoo MP Ahmed Haleem revealed in the meeting held by the State Owned Enterprises Committee, that the IAS desk was kept and used in the PPM campaign hub run in Sakeena Manzil for the presidential elections.
Incumbent Managing Director of IAS Rizvi, who was appointed to his post by the current administration, confirmed that the desk was used in the office. He affirmed that ticket bookings and purchase took place at the campaign hub accordingly.
He added that Yameen's administration further influenced IAS runnings including politically motivated firing and hiring of certain employees and mandating workers to attend campaign rallies.
"I worked at the company even back then. We were called on to attend rallies with as many employees as possible", said Rizvi, who was then-Managing Director of Maldivian Holidays.
Moreover, he declared that there were no such attempts to influence IAS by the incumbent administration. However, he said that they received requests from people in political posts to appoint certain employees that suited their personal interest.