President dismisses Tourism Minister Ali Waheed

President dismisses Tourism Minister Ali Waheed

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has officially dismissed Tourism Minister Ali Waheed from the post after multiple accounts of misconduct surfaced against the Minister last night.

President's Office spokesperson Ibrahim Hood confirmed the dismissal on Twitter.

Hood had announced last night that the President had demanded Ali Waheed’s resignation after hearing of the allegations against him straight from the victims themselves.

Tourism Ministry staff attended a meeting with the President at his office earlier this Wednesday, during which they shared their experiences in detail.

Sources from within Tourism Ministry who spoke to Sun said female staff members have been subjected to sexual harassment and assault for a long time, but that it had escalated during the lockdown, until they couldn't tolerate it any longer, and decided to bring it to the attention of the President.

“Ali Waheed has sexually harassed and assaulted many of the ministry’s staff,” said one Tourism Ministry staffer who spoke to Sun on condition of anonymity.

According to the source, Ali Waheed has repeatedly harassed staff members during official trips.

“He attempted to sexually assault a female staff member during a recent trip. She jumped off a water villa at the resort to escape,” said the source, who added that the staff member in question didn’t even know how to swim, but had been in such a state of panic that she had jumped into the water anyway.

“The President was in tears when he was told all this. He was speechless,” said the source.

Another staff member who spoke to Sun said a similar incident had taken place during a recent function at Maagiri Hotel.

Shortly after the President’s spokesperson issued the statement, Ali Waheed tweeted that he was “proud to have served the people and the nation with honesty and energy”.

He attached a picture with the phrase “this too shall pass” in his tweet.

Maldives Police Service also issued a statement announcing they have opened a criminal investigation into “a case involving sexual abuse of female staff members at Tourism Ministry”.

A police spokesperson said the case was lodged on Wednesday night, and that additional information will be released as the investigation progresses.