Former Auditor General Niyaz Ibrahim has sharply criticised Dr Mohamed Muizzu, the presidential candidate of the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and the People’s National Congress (PNC), accusing him of manipulating the state’s financial framework during his time as a cabinet minister.

Niyaz, who was ousted from his position for exposing the largest financial scandal in the country’s history— the infamous audit report of the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC)—stated in a Facebook post that the PPM/PNC coalition would be incapable of fielding a candidate from its upper echelons who was not complicit in corruption.

He contended that the coalition lacks integrity and predicted that it would take another six generations for the party to eradicate its corrupt practices.

“It is wishful thinking to hope that a person who aided another (former first lady Fathimath Ibrahim) – who had no mandate or authority in her state role – to ruin an entire state mechanism, and to blindly follow orders to allocate social housing to close allies instead of those who are deserving, will lead its electorate to a just and fair governance,” he wrote.

Niyaz referred to an earlier housing scheme initiated by President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, during which Muizzu’s tenure as Housing Minister that attracted significant criticism for corrupt practices in social housing allocations.

This included the distribution of units in the flats constructed by Tata Company, flats constructed in Hulhumale’ Phase 1 with the assistance of the Chinese government, and particularly the social housing under the Hiya project of the then-government.

Due to these allegations, the current government reviewed the list of Hiya recipients—a list that had been published just weeks before the change of power—under the oversight of a special task force.