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Graft watchdog vows to probe govt 'monopoly' on state TV, convention centre

Mohamed Visham
19 October 2016, MVT 12:14
PPM parliamentary group and council members loyal to president Yameen pictured during a press conference held at the Dharubaaruge convention centre on Thursday. MIHAARU PHOTO/MOHAMED SHARUHAAN
Mohamed Visham
19 October 2016, MVT 12:14

Maldives' graft watchdog Tuesday vowed to probe the continued government 'monopoly' on state run Television Maldives and the main convention centre in the capital Male over mounting complaints from the opposition.

Opposition parties have long complained that the housing ministry has continued to snub requests to issue 'Dharubaaruge' convention centre for opposition events while Public Service Media (PSM) which operates TVM offers live coverage to ruling party events.

Housing ministry's latest decision to grant one of the main halls in Dharubaaruge to president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom's faction of the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) until the local council elections slated for next January has sparked concern from the public and opposition alike.

Main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) secretary general Anas Abdul Sattar described it as the latest decision in a series of violations of the political party law.

"The political party law clearly states that the all parties must have equal access to such state facilities. But when we request, the government comes up with some lame excuse to snub our requests. We've sent out letters to housing ministry, police and the elections commission over this," Anas lamented.

Both PSM and the housing ministry refused to comment.

Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) vice president Muavviz Rasheed agreed with the opposition insisting that all political parties must be afforded equal access.

He said the commission was looking into complaints of discrimination.

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