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Campaign trail: cocktail coalition

Daily roundup of news from the campaign trail.



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

August 27

  • President officially inaugurates sewerage service established in Raa Alifushi by the government (PSM)
  • Entire Maavah comes out to give warm welcome to Dr Shaheem (PSM)
  • If the system is changed to parliamentary it will all be chaos: Dr Shaheem (Sun)
  • This government has not let anyone go who broke the law: attorney general (PSM)
  • MDP people will protest even in their graves: president (Raajje)
  • GMR wasn’t shortlisted for leasing airport, that was a big fraud: president (PSM)
  • A parliamentary system would have unrest: Shaheem (Mihaaru)
  • Talk about economics is in my shadow: president (Mihaaru)
  • President says a resort will be developed on Ehthigili (Sun)
  • President’s pledge: threefold increase to Get Set loans, soft loans for boat building (Avas)
  • Highest priority in second term would be fisheries sector: president (Vnews)
  • Low-interest loans will be introduced for boat builders: president (PSM)
  • I can’t think of any reason why MDP should be given another chance: president (Sun)
  • Homeownership and jobs for youth will be facilitated in next term: President Yameen (PSM)
  • A man has to go to jail because of a man’s actions: Shaheem (VFP)
  • President Yameen to opposition: you are a cocktail coalition that can’t agree (Mihaaru)
  • 50 percent of company boards will be given to women: president (Sun)
  • Hundreds come out to give warm welcome to President Yameen on Dhuvaafaru (Mihaaru)
  • I will establish a hospital for women and children: president (VFP)
  • Number of women on boards of government-owned companies will be increased to 50%: president (PSM)
  • A special letter from first lady appealing to vote for President Yameen (Mihaaru)
  • Don’t think of rigging the vote: President Yameen (Mihaaru)
  • If you have a manifesto that can compete with President Yameen’s development, join the debate: Thoriq (PSM)
  • Hulhumalé residents show support for President Yameen (PSM)
  • Public doesn’t want to join opposition and go into political turmoil: Dr Shaheem (PSM)
  • President Yameen appeals against belittling President Maumoon’s service (Sun)
  • President Yameen displeased about Thoriq’s remarks about Maumoon (Mihaaru)
  • Tar laying will begin on Dhuvaafaru roads next month: housing minister (PSM)
  • This government had to renew the unravelling national fabric: president (PSM)
  • I am a very nationalist person: President Yameen (Mihaaru)
  • The transaction that was the biggest trick pulled on Maldivians was giving the airport to GMR: President Yameen (Mihaaru)
  • Stealing in advance is fine: President Yameen (Raajje)
  • President to Ibu: Don’t talk about development, you don’t have the competence for it (Avas)
  • President Yameen to Ibu: transitional justice is a temporary cure (Sun)

Visiting four islands in Raa atoll as the campaign enters its final weeks, President Abdulla Yameen made numerous pledges and dialled up attacks on the opposition, who were “two or three miles behind” his economic development agenda.

He labelled the alliance a “cocktail coalition” of former rivals who fail to agree on fundamental issues, such as repealing constitutional amendments and the ideal system of government. The main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party favours switching to a parliamentary system but its three coalition partners disagree. The coalition is yet to merge the four separate manifestos into a single one. Yameen’s re-election manifesto has not been made public either.

The president pledged to reserve half of company director’s boards for women and to encourage more women to run for parliament.

In contrast to the MDP’s privatisation policy, Yameen said he has revitalised state-owned enterprises such as the Maldives Industrial Fisheries Company. He also alleged “fraud” in the 25-year lease of the international airport to Indian developer GMR, which was later paid US$271 million as compensation for the wrongful termination of the concession agreement.

Yameen reiterated that the airport deal was an “economic crime” that caused heavy losses.

  • We will bring joy to people’s faces: Faisal (Vnews)
  • Saying coalition can’t rule together is shameful: Faisal (Avas)
  • We will build bridge to people’s hearts: Faisal (Vnews)
  • If there was corruption in MDP government, this government wouldn’t have failed to take action: Mariya (Raajje)
  • Coalition youth team begins special activities in Huvadhu atoll (Vnews)
  • Four leaders are sacrificing for the sake of the nation: Faisal (Mihaaru)
  • I urge everyone who supports JP and Gasim to support Ibu: Dr Hussain (Vnews)
  • President Yameen will lose so much he won’t dare contest an election: Dr Hussain (Raajje)
  • President Yameen’s policies have failed, the September 23 vote is a vote to recover stolen money: President Nasheed (Raajje)
  • President Yameen’s government has stolen in advance: Ibu (Vnews)
  • We will recover lost money no matter how deep President Yameen has dug and hidden it: Hisaan (Raajje)
  • I will provide Aasandha service to Maldivians living in Sri Lanka without any discrimination: Ibu (Raajje)
  • Ibu’s pledge: higher education free, a special loan scheme (Avas)
  • Ibu and Nasheed together, the entire hall was electrified (Raajje)
  • Stability won’t come when two people in a cooled room do as they see fit: Faisal (Vnews)
  • President Yameen is someone who failed to maintain family relations: Nadira (Raajje)
  • We won’t give the slighest chance for tyranny: Faisal (Vnews)
  • We are a cocktail coalition and we’re proud of it: Ali Zahir (Raajje)
  • Adhaalath Party to president: proud of cocktail coalition (Avas)
  • We’re proud to be part of “cocktail coalition”: Ali Zahir (Mihaaru)
  • Dr Iyaz to Dr Shaheem: do people have to go jail because they speak the truth! (VFP)
  • State of duress will end, President Yameen will go home empty-handed: Ibu (Mihaaru)
  • Ibu’s answer: We will stop theft, pledges will be fulfilled that way (Avas)
  • Higher education in Maldives will be free in coalition government: Ibu (Sun)
  • Joyous time for supporters with Nasheed and Ibu (Mihaaru)

Joint opposition candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih ‘Ibu’ joined exiled former president Mohamed Nasheed for a rally in Colombo, drawing a large crowd of Maldivians who live in Sri Lanka. The pair spent an hour and a half taking selfies with supporters.

The time has come to lift up the fallen nation, Ibu said, quoting from an old poem and calling the September 23 vote a chance to bring an end to the injustice that forced opposition leaders into exile. He pledged tuition-free higher education in the Maldives and interest-free long-term loans for students who want to earn degrees overseas.

In response to Yameen’s question about how his pledges would be fulfilled, Ibu said he would stop wasteful expenditure and theft from the state budget. He also pledged to restore ties with Qatar and Iran and to repair relations with neighbours India and Sri Lanka.

Adhaalath Party deputy leader Ali Zahir said forming a “cocktail coalition” with leaders of different ideologies was an achievement and a source of pride. It shows the four leaders placed national interest above themselves, he said. The coalition has also proven the president wrong by fielding a single candidate, Zahir said.