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Campaign trail: blame Nasheed

Daily roundup of news from the campaign trail.



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

September 3

  • Completion of Dhagethi harbour and water system project marked (PSM)
  • Warm welcome from Mahibadhoo, president opens new roads (Avas)
  • President marks completion of Alif Dhaal Mahibadhoo road construction (PSM)
  • Jailing of political leaders pinned on Nasheed! (Mihaaru)
  • Opposition’s thinking is to put people in jail: President Yameen (Sun)
  • President Maumoon had to go to jail because of efforts with Nasheed behind it: Nihan (PSM)
  • Tyrants are in jail: Nihan (Sun)
  • Allah answers prayers, all the tyrants are in jail: Nihan (Raajje)
  • There is no tyranny, opposition can’t talk about making institutions independent: president (Mihaaru)
  • It was the opposition that deprived institutions of independence: president (Avas)
  • Opposition can’t run institutions independently: president (VFP)
  • I have a retort to everything the opposition says: President Yameen (Sun)
  • President’s pledge to people of Mahibadhoo: I will expand land if given a second term (PSM)
  • President promises to reclaim land in Mahibadhoo (Avas)
  • A government can’t be run by divvying up shares: President Yameen (Mihaaru)
  • President says a new school will be built in Thoddoo (PSM)
  • President criticises dressing children in yellow t-shirts (VFP)
  • Maldivians can’t always be put to swing on lhos undhoali [a swing made from lettuce tree timber]: president (PSM)
  • I have proven the joy of development, trust me: president (Avas)
  • Youth is the nation’s capital: president (PSM)
  • Penalty taken with false ideology won’t be a goal: Shaheem (Mihaaru)
  • Give a second term to President Yameen to make Kulhudhuffushi airport international: Dr Shaheem (PSM)
  • People of Kulhudhuffushi values President Yameen’s development: Dr Shaheem (Sun)
  • This is the time to build the nation without getting political: Shaheem (Mihaaru)
  • There are scholars who “light up” for every election: Nihan (Mihaaru)
  • Muizz’s question: what are you trying to say from behind those who demeaned and weakened Islam? (PSM)
  • Ari atoll should leave JP and give majority to President Yameen: Thoriq (Mihaaru)
  • Inviting foreign armies is plunging nation into critical state: Azima (PSM)

Visiting four islands in the central Ari atoll, President Abdulla Yameen blamed former president Mohamed Nasheed for the widely condemned jailing of politicians during the past four years. Nasheed had wanted to jail his opponents when he was in power, he said: “He has succeeded in that. Maybe he couldn’t do it in his government.”

Speaking on Mahibadhoo island, Yameen was echoing remarks made before him by MP Ahmed Nihan, who contended that Nasheed must bear responsibility as the president’s former allies were all jailed after teaming up with him.

Aside from Nasheed himself, other high-profile figures jailed under the present administration include Yameen’s half-brother Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, his nephew MP Faris Maumoon, his former right-hand man MP Ahmed Nazim, his former coalition partners Jumhooree Party leader MP Gasim Ibrahim and Adhaalath Party leader Sheikh Imran Abdulla, his former defence minister Mohamed Nazim, his former vice president Ahmed Adeeb, former prosecutor general Muhthaz Muhsin, former police commissioner MP Abdulla Riyaz, two former Supreme Court justices, two former ruling party lawmakers, a prominent businessman, a colonel and a magistrate.

Yameen denies their convictions were politically motivated.

Hitting back at the opposition candidate’s vow to restore the independence of autonomous state institutions, Yameen alleged that the opposition’s bribery was behind the Supreme Court’s order on February 1 for the release of nine prisoners. He also accused Nasheed’s administration of exerting undue influence over the judiciary and the Elections Commission.

If he was a tyrant as the opposition says, Yameen said he would not be greeted on islands by smiling and contented people.

On Thoddoo island, the president reiterated criticism of coalitions, calling such alliances unworkable based on the “bitter experience” of the past two elections.

Over on the northern Kulhudhuffushi island, running mate Dr Mohamed Shaheem continued a war of words with Sheikh Ilyas Hussain, a former colleague from the Adhaalath Party who spoke again Monday night at an opposition rally on Fuvahmulah.

  • Nasheed’s response to Yameen: are you my puppet? (Raajje)
  • Influence can’t be exerted on voting day: Ibu (Mihaaru)
  • Ibu came out with megaphone when power was cut from Rathafandhoo! (Raajje)
  • We will give soft loans to develop local tourism: Ibu (Sun)
  • Ibu to Huvadhu atoll: “We have coloured the picture we’re drawing” (Mihaaru)
  • We’re seeing a beautiful picture from Huvadhu, there’s support on all islands: Ibu (Raajje)
  • We will hold people who enforced unlawful orders accountable: Ibu (Vnews)
  • Many islands were sold off in the name of developing tourism: Ibu (Sun)
  • Praising police, Ibu concludes Huvadhu trip (Raajje)
  • We will solve problems faced by Maldivians in India: Faisal (Raajje)
  • The jailing of Hulhumalé’s founder is one reason to say no to this government: Faisal (Vnews)
  • When choosing a ruler, his character should be considered: Faisal (Mihaaru)
  • The biggest responsibility for the neglect of Fuvahmulah must be borne by Maseeh and Abdul Raheem: Shah (Raajje)
  • I will take penalties, defenders will defend: Ilyas (Raajje)
  • MPs have committed crimes, repent: Ilyas (Raajje)
  • Purpose of development is unfulfilled without establishing justice: Sheikh Ilyas (Vnews)
  • I will give the fishing boat to anyone who shows it to me: Sheikh Ilyas (Raajje)
  • The public can ask questions about the treasury: Ilyas (Mihaaru)
  • People become corrupt due to weakness of faith: Sheikh Ilyas (Vnews)

Campaigning in the southern Huvadhu atoll, joint opposition candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih ‘Ibu’ blasted the jailing of leaders who opposed the president’s “dictatorial” rule. Despite the intimidation and curtailment of rights, voters will be free on September 23 to have their say, Ibu said. The “public’s verdict” will have to be enforced, he assured.

On Madaveli island, the last stop of his 18-island tour, Ibu said the overwhelming support was clear on each inhabited island. He thanked police officers for their cooperation during the trip.

Ibu’s pledges for the southern atoll included a Villigili-Kooddoo bridge, a fish cannery, an international airport, and a nationwide social housing scheme with loans issued at a six percent interest rate and controlled rent of MVR5,000 (US$324) a month.

He also made numerous pledges to fishermen, including ensuring a fair price for their catch, introducing an old age pension scheme, providing access to soft loans and credit facilities, eliminating the tariff on diesel, facilitating direct trade between local fishermen and overseas buyers, and banning foreign vessels from Maldivian waters.

As part of its ‘blue economy’ policy, the coalition government would also expand aquaculture, mariculture and reef fisheries, Ibu said.

After concluding a campaign trip to India, running mate Faisal Naseem meanwhile opened a meeting hall in the capital’s suburb Hulhumalé, praising Ibu as a trustworthy and mild-mannered veteran lawmaker capable of building consensus. The whole country would bear witness to his undisputed integrity, the Kaashidhoo MP said.