The ruling People’s National Congress (PNC) is under intense criticism after a party member called for providing electricity service exclusively to party members until the end of next week’s parliamentary elections. The comments were made by Abdulla Rasheed, the Assistant Manager of the FENAKA Corporation branch in Dhidhdhoo Island, Haa Alifu Atoll, during a campaign rally for PNC candidate Abdul Latheef Mohamed.

At the rally, Rasheed suggested that those who do not support the PNC candidate should be excluded from these services, while those who do should receive exclusive access.

Rasheed, who assumed his position as the assistant manager of FENAKA Corporation Dhidhdhoo Office on 5 February, stated that FENAKA will continue providing employment opportunities for party members and that these positions will be made permanent.

These comments have sparked controversy, particularly in light of the new FENAKA powerhouse and ice plant project, where the Muizzu administration dismissed 57 contract staff without prior notice after taking office.

The controversy follows similar comments made by PNC member Ahmed Shareef Abdul Rahman Yoosuf at a campaign rally in Hinnavaru Island, Lhaviyani Atoll. Yoosuf urged Fisheries Minister Ahmed Shiyam to request President Muizzu take punitive action against civil servants and employees of state-owned enterprises who do not support the incumbent president or PNC candidates.

The opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) issued a strong statement in response to Yoosuf’s comments. They called on the electoral body and other relevant agencies to thoroughly investigate the comments and take appropriate action. The MDP also urged the anti-corruption watchdog to investigate allegations against the Muizzu administration for unlawfully using state resources and public funds for its parliamentary campaign.

Following widespread condemnation of Rasheed’s comments, the PNC issued a statement distancing itself from them. “His [Rasheed’s] comments do not reflect the policy of President Mohamed Muizzu. The coalition does not support those comments,” the PNC stated. The party, whose coalition partner is the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), also said it would investigate and take appropriate action against Rasheed.