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Sexual misconduct of MDP candidate surfaces

Fathmath Shaahunaz
28 January 2020, MVT 09:40
Campaign poster for Ibrahim Shaffan Shamoon of MDP, who is running for Male City no.10 (Machangolhi North) in the Local Council Elections 2020; Shamoon was fired from his former job over sexually harassing female staff. PHOTO/FACEBOOK
Fathmath Shaahunaz
28 January 2020, MVT 09:40

The Edition has uncovered that a candidate of ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), was terminated from his previous job over sexual harassment allegations.

Ibrahim Shaffan Shamoon, contesting in the MDP primaries for Male City no.10 (Machangolhi North) in the Local Council Elections 2020, was dismissed from his former post as the Human Resources Training and Development Manager at a major private firm, over him exploiting his position of authority and sexually harassing six female staff members, according to a credible source within the company.

The source revealed that they had reached out to MDP with the information, but the ruling party failed to take action without "concrete evidence", leaving them to seek media attention instead.

Per the source, the six employees came forward with their accusations after Shamoon conducted a company-wide performance evaluation. Following an internal probe to substantiate their claims, conducted by an investigative committee convened by the company's HR, it was revealed that Shamoon had initiated vulgar, sexually suggestive discussions with the staff in question, during one-on-one interviews.

In their individual statements, the female employees alleged that Shamoon had derailed the interviews halfway through to focus on the staff's personal lives. According to all six women, he had posed uncomfortable, sexual questions about their private matters, including intimate relations with their partners, and had vehemently insisted that they share details when the employees refused.

They further revealed that he also shared an inappropriate story of his own private life to encourage them to open up. One of the staff further accused that Shamoon had touched her arm during the meeting, with an indecorous comment that elicited more discomfort.

Noting that there was no reason for the employees to discredit him, The Edition's source stated that the investigative committee found all of the staff statements to be consistent with regards to the nature of their harassment. The company had thus sacked Shamoon, although he denied the allegations.

The source further highlighted that despite being tasked with conducting a company-wide evaluation of staff, Shamoon had mostly met with the female employees. The majority of the firm's workforce is made up of male staff.

The Edition has verified the information provided by the source, including the statements given by the six female employees against Shamoon.

These sexual harassment allegations against Ibrahim Shaffan Shamoon come to light not long after MDP set a precedent on their zero-tolerance policy on sexual abuse for the upcoming local council elections.

Last weekend, the ruling party recalled the candidacy of Madeeha Abdulla, an MDP member running for a seat on the Kanduhulhudhoo Council, after she made controversial statements sympathising with the suspects accused of sexually abusing a toddler in the same island, to a local media outlet. The party stated that her application was nullified following an investigation into her comments that was conducted by its Membership and Campaign Committee.

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