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MP Yauqoob resigns from ICAM council over legitimacy debate

Shahudha Mohamed
16 September 2020, MVT 14:47
Council members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Maldives (ICAM). Ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)'s parliament representative of Gaafu Alif Atoll's Dhaandhoo constituency Yauqoob Abdulla has now resigned from the council. PHOTO: ICAM
Shahudha Mohamed
16 September 2020, MVT 14:47

Ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)'s parliament representative for Gaafu Alif Atoll's Dhaandhoo constituency, Yauqoob Abdulla, resigned from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Maldives (ICAM)'s council, on Tuesday, over legal differences.

Following his resignation, Yauqoob spoke with local media Mihaaru, stating that he accepted the post of Prudent Chartered Managing Partner, upon being appointed by Auditor General Hassan Ziyath, after seeking legal counsel.

"Those who gave me [legal] counsel do not view it as a problem. But as disputes arose, I came to believe that stepping aside would be the best thing to do".

The Constitution stipulates that sitting lawmakers may not fill a post other than that of parliament representative. Therefore, concerned parties have asserted their view that Yauqoob should lose his seat in Parliament because he had accepted a position in a state institution.

In an interview given to Mihaaru, the incumbent Auditor General said that Yauqoob was appointed to ICAM as a representative of the accounting profession since he already works in the same field. However, he expressed approval of Yauqoob's decision to resign from the council, based on the current discourse.

"... [it is] better than being caught up in a controversial matter at the start of launching the institute", Ziyath said.

Rifaath Abdulla has now been appointed to the post vacated following Yauqoob's resignation.

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih established the Institute of Chartered Accountants on Sunday, as mandated by the Maldives Chartered Accountants Act.

ICAM's mandate includes formulating standards for auditing and accounting in the private sector, regulating and monitoring the work of private sector accountants and auditors, setting valuation guidelines and providing accounting related assistance to the public sector as well as technical services such as certification, education and training.

As per the Maldives Chartered Accountants Act, ICAM will initially be led by a transitional council consisting of the Auditor General and eight additional members appointed to develop bylaws and standard operating procedures over four years. A key aim for the transitional period is seeking formal recognition from the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC).

Following the transition period, the institute will be headed by an elected nine-member council consisting of a president, vice president and four members from ICAM, as well as the Auditor General, Commissioner General of Taxation and State Financial Controller.