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Campaign trail: ‘bridge of hope’

Daily roundup of news from the campaign.



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

August 30

  • Arrest of people from one party ideology is regrettable: Faisal (Raajje)
  • Police shouldn’t be running to take down banners: Faisal (Mihaaru)
  • Arrest of joint opposition campaigners is done with a plan: Mariya (Raajje)
  • The more people get arrested, the more people will vote: Shifaz (Raajje)
  • A welcome of drums and trumpets for Faisal in Hithaadhoo! (Raajje)
  • No one can live outside the law: Faisal (Mihaaru)
  • Ibu will go to Kolamaafushi, what police did was an act of obstructing the campaign: Mariya (Mihaaru)
  • Ibu will go to Kolamaafushi, MNDF will handle security for candidate: Mariya (Raajje)
  • Ibu to Kolamaafushi rejecting police request! (Sun)
  • Ibu to Kolamaafushi in defiance of police (Avas)
  • Asking to delay Ibu’s Kolmaafushi trip is unacceptable: Faisal (Raajje)
  • US$3 million alleged to be spent on bridge opening ceremony (Sun)
  • US$3 million spent to open bridge is for President Yameen’s campaign: Mariya (VFP)
  • MVR46 million to open bridge, a big waste: opposition coalition (Mihaaru)
  • Burning a million dollars for five minutes of enjoyment is a big waste: Faisal (Vnews)
  • We will do what the public wants without waste: Faisal (Avas)
  • Development should be brought transparently: Faisal (Vnews)

The police came under fire from the joint opposition following an appeal from police spokesman Ahmed Shifan for the candidate to delay a campaign visit to Kolamaafushi island, where 18 activists from the main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party were arrested over the alleged vandalism of the ruling party office.

The Maldives National Defence Force is responsible for providing security to presidential candidates, the candidate’s spokeswoman Mariya Ahmed Didi told the press. The role of police is ensuring public order, the lawmaker said, questioning police motives and accusing them of obstructing the campaign.

The military has assured Ibrahim Mohamed Solih ‘Ibu’ that security measures would be beefed up in the wake of the violence on Kolamaafushi, she added.

Ibu kicked off an 18-island tour of the southern Gaaf Alif and Gaaf Dhaal atolls Friday morning.

  • PPM campaign hall attack was a terrorism attack: home minister (PSM)
  • Assault is committed to disrupt peace and order of election, youth should beware: minister (PSM)
  • The fastest infrastructure growth in Asia at present is in the Maldives: Minister Saeed (PSM)
  • President: we’re crossing the bridge of hope to a new era of development (Avas)
  • Sinamalé bridge is a door of hope to the future: President Yameen (Sun)
  • Bridge is a new economic doorway, a success in the development journey: president (Mihaaru)
  • Sinamalé bridge is a built reality, not a fantasy: Dr Muizz (PSM)
  • Maldivians are seeing a golden age of infrastructure development: Muizz (Avas)
  • The bridge is President Yameen’s, no connection to any other president: Muizz (Mihaaru)
  • Bridge was born out of the relationship between the two presidents: Muizz (Raajje)

At a ceremony featuring fireworks and a laser show, President Abdulla Yameen opened the landmark Chinese-funded bridge. The country’s first overwater bridge connects the capital with its suburb Hulhumalé via the airport island Hulhulé.

The “bridge of hope” ushers in a new era of progress, Yameen said in his speech. Hulhumalé is being developed as a modern city for a population of over 200,000, he said, for which transport access from the capital was an obstacle. It would facilitate foreign investment and create more than 80,000 jobs.

He thanked Chinese President Xi Jinping for making the long-held dream of a bridge come true. Chinese assistance was pledged during his maiden official visit in August 2014, Yameen noted. The ‘China-Maldives Friendship Bridge’ symbolises the close Sino-Maldives ties and exemplifies assistance from a large nation to a small one.