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Campaign trail: airports and overdue infrastructure

Daily roundup of news from the campaign trail.



A daily round-up of headlines made by the candidates, running mates and their surrogates on the campaign trail. 

August 14

  • “I don’t plan to take the people to another country that won’t flood” (Sun)
  • I don’t want Maldivian children to move beyond fear: President (PSM)
  • Projects the opposition would need 18 years for have been completed in five: President (Mihaaru)
  • I’ll make sure opposition don’t get bored listening to me: President (Avas)
  • Importance of security forces is realised when faced with a disaster: President (Sun)
  • Kulhudhuffushi airport work delayed because of opposition: President (PSM)
  • Done enough for Kulhudhuffushi airport to not be stopped: President (Avas)
  • President Yameen lies repeatedly about selling off airport (Raajje)
  • Yameen lies for second time saying airport was sold (VFP)
  • We’ll secure supermajority from Buruni for President Yameen with MDP votes as well: Riyaz Rasheed (Sun)

Continuing his tour of Thaa atoll, President Abdulla Yameen inaugurated a sewerage system on Buruni island, where he mocked former president Mohamed Nasheed’s proposal in 2008 to make plans to relocate the Maldivian population in the event of catastrophic sea-level rise.

Keeping up attacks on the exiled opposition leader and his three-year administration, Yameen repeated the insinuation that the country’s 100 percent Muslim status would be threatened if the opposition won the September 23 election. It is not enough for them to say the constitution enshrines Islam as the state religion as Nasheed sought to allow temples and churches, he alleged.

Yameen continued to share metrics of spending on island infrastructure, the other key message of his re-election campaign.

He also blamed the opposition for delays in the Kulhudhuffushi airport project, a 2013 campaign pledge. Yameen’s fib that the Malé international airport was “sold” to Indian developer GMR was highlighted by some media.

  • No doubt, the coalition will disintegrate: President (Mihaaru)
  • A government of opposition parties would have spying and infighting: Dr Shaheem (Mihaaru)
  • “I won’t fight for presidency, I’m a religious person” (PSM)
  • People of all ideologies should welcome island development: President (Sun)
  • Development won’t come from those who destroy development: President (VFP)
  • First lady meets Kudarikilu islanders (PSM)
  • I’m finding it hard to accept invitation to join opposition: Riyaz (Mihaaru)

Speaking on Vilufushi, Yameen said the opposition coalition of former rivals would face the same fate as previous failed alliances, a criticism echoed by his running mate on the southern island of Fuvahmulah. Over in the north, the first lady continued her tour of Baa atoll.

  • I won’t sign voter list unless assured of authenticity: Ibu (Mihaaru)
  • Ibu inspects Kulhudhuffushi airport site (Avas)
  • Ibu visits 13 islands in Haa Dhaal in three days (Mihaaru)
  • Ibu to 13 Haa Dhaal islands in three days: many pledges! (Avas)
  • I will develop Hanimaadhoo International Airport, create job opportunities: Ibu (Vnews)
  • I will ensure agricultural produce is sold at true price: Ibu (Sun)
  • Clean water and sewerage will be provided in my government: Ibu (Sun)
  • Coalition government will carry out many development projects in Nolhivaram: Ibu (Raajje)
  • Many complaints from islands about not awarding plots of land for people: Faisal (Vnews)

Opposition candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih ‘Ibu’ concluded his tour of the northern Haa Dhaal atoll as his running mate campaigned in the south-central Faafu and Dhaal atolls.

Speaking on Nolhivaram, Ibu urged the Elections Commission to publish the list of people who re-registered, citing concerns over fraud and vote rigging schemes. Candidates must sign the list of eligible voters before the polls, according to a 2013 Supreme Court guideline.

Ibu continued to make numerous pledges on each island stop, promising infrastructure such as sewerage, harbours and roads. He vowed to upgrade the domestic airport on Hanimaadhoo to international status. On Kulhudhuffushi, accompanied by the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party councillors, he visited the site reclaimed for the airport. Both candidates have pledged to build the airport, long wished for by a majority of islanders on the northern population hub, despite the loss of a unique mangrove.

Ibu returned to Malé on Tuesday evening after visiting 13 islands in three days.