The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) is facing criticism from the public and parliamentarians for its ongoing investigation into the allocation of the Gedhoruveriya flats. This housing project, initiated by the former administration under President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, is nearing completion with an initial 4,000 flats.

During a parliamentary session held on Wednesday, lawmakers from the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) and The Democrats expressed their concerns over the ACC’s involvement in the allocation of the flats. This discussion was prompted by a resolution submitted by Eva Abdulla, the Member of Parliament (MP) for North Galholhu of The Democrats, calling for a swift handover of the flats.

The ACC’s involvement has also been questioned by experts, who have pointed out that the Audit Act assigns the responsibility of conducting performance audits to the Auditor General’s Office. They have challenged the legality of the ACC’s interference with the flat list, labelling it an act of “corruption.”

The ACC launched its investigation in response to public grievances about the recipient list. On 5 February, the commission reported that approximately 60 percent of the recipients finalised by the previous administration’s housing ministry were ineligible based on the established criteria. Despite their eligibility, the ACC also found irregularities in 19.7 percent of the flat application forms.

During the parliamentary debate, lawmakers scrutinised the findings of the ACC’s investigation. They alleged that the ACC had colluded with the current government in investigating the recipient list for the flats.

Yaugoob Abdulla, the MP for Dhaandhoo from the MDP, accused the ACC of overstepping its constitutional mandate by interfering in the allocation process and urged the government to expedite the handover of the flats.

Mohamed Falah, the MP for West Maafannu, criticised the ACC’s handling of the investigation, characterising the commission as”politicised.” Ahmed Saleem, the MP for Hoarafushi and deputy speaker, also questioned the ACC’s involvement in the matter.

Ali Niyaz, the MP for Hulhumalé, noted that the previous administration had already issued deeds of the flats to the respective recipients, making it legally impossible to reclaim the flats from the recipients on the list.

In her resolution, MP Eva advocated for the immediate alleviation of the difficulties faced by the recipients, many of whom live under dire conditions, by handing over the flats to the eligible recipients as soon as possible.

MP Eva further emphasised, “The delay in the allocation of flats, attributable to various factors, is causing irreversible loss to the rightful recipients. These individuals are encumbered with the financial obligation of rent as they anticipate the handover of their designated flats. A significant number of families, many with multiple children, are enduring severe living conditions, eagerly awaiting the transfer of the flats.” She highlighted the urgency of the situation, noting the financial and emotional strain on the families awaiting their new homes.

On Tuesday evening, a group of individuals, who were deemed eligible for the flats, entered the premises of the ACC in protest, expressing their concerns over the ACC’s findings. In a video of the incident, these individuals can be heard questioning the ACC, asking “where are our rights,” as they protested at the ACC office.