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Campaign trail: colour blind

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 20

  • The highest priority in implementing the president’s manifesto will be protecting religion: Azima (PSM)
  • We have clear evidence that MDP is buying and selling ID cards: Nihan (PSM)
  • Heated attacks from PPM to Nasreena! (Mihaaru)
  • With Nasreena’s message, Nihan’s questions to MDP (Avas)
  • Nihan attacks president Maumoon and madam Nasreena! (VFP)
  • Flats to be given to everyone who submit forms (Mihaaru)
  • Muizz says everyone who submit forms will get a flat (Raajje)
  • Everyone who submit forms for Hiyaa project will get flats: Muizz (Avas)
  • Interest rate on social housing loans to be reduced to six percent (Mihaaru)
  • Elect President Yameen, he will bring development: vice president (Avas)
  • Our aim is to ensure housing for all citizens: vice president (VFP)
  • The president will make every atoll capital island a city: Muizz (Avas)
  • President’s office spokesman uses obscenities against public (Vnews)

With two days left to campaign, the president and his running mate were absent from the trail on Thursday. A group of ministers took part in a panel discussion about the ruling party manifesto. It was organised by the Maldives National University with a live broadcast on state media.

“Guiding principles for running the state have been included in this manifesto,” said legal affairs minister Azima Shukoor. “Among those the first and main principle is a decision not to allow space for a religion other than Islam in President [Abdulla] Yameen’s government. So this main guiding principle will be followed in implementing all the pledges in all the other areas of the whole manifesto. Not allowing foreign parties to meddle with internal affairs and Maldivian independence, especially domestic independence, is the other guiding principle.”

On Thursday night, Vice President Abdulla Jihad attended a ceremony to launch the master plan for the Vilimalé 2 or Hiyaa Accomplished project, touted as a “total solution” for the housing shortage in the Greater Malé area. It involves reclaiming the Gulhi Falhu lagoon near the capital to develop a new city for 315,000 people.

All Maldivians above 18 years of age who do not own a 1,000-square foot home will be eligible to apply for housing.

The president has decided that everyone who applied for flats under the Hiyaa project in Hulhumalé, the capital’s other suburb, would be awarded a flat, Housing Minister Dr Mohamed Muizz announced.

The president also decided to lower the interest rate of social housing loans to six percent, Muizz added. Equity will be lowered from 30 percent to 10 percent and movable assets could also be mortgaged, he said.

The announcement comes weeks after the opposition candidate outlined the coalition’s housing policy, which included lowering housing loan interest rate to six percent with MVR5,000 (US$324) monthly payments.

  • Ibu and Faisal to Addu to finish “Jazeera trip” (Mihaaru)
  • Ibu finishes Jazeera journey with hopeful scenes (Avas)
  • We will free former chief justice and Ali Hameed: Ibu (Mihaaru)
  • Ibu’s strong message to President Yameen: “Don’t play with the vote!” (Mihaaru)
  • Nasreena appeals to vote for Ibu to save the nation from tyranny (Mihaaru)
  • Nasreena to Addu to campaign for Ibu (Avas)
  • Ibu promises a compassionate government (Mihaaru)
  • Hope has been revived, the day we meet [jailed or exiled] leaders is near: Ibu (Avas)
  • Opposition coalition concludes campaign with hope, certainty and a pledge to not alienate anyone (Mihaaru)
  • No one will be alienated because of [party] colour they like: Ibu (VFP)
  • We will find a Maldives that everyone feels is their country: Ibu (Raajje)
  • “Black money has been laundered with MMA’s knowledge”: Ibu (Vnews)
  • We have certainty so far of 170,000 votes: Ibu (VFP)
  • We are coming to power to restore justice and equality: Faisal (Raajje)
  • Ibu will not be a tyrant: Faisal (Vnews)
  • Sheikh Ilyas comes to Maldives and goes to opposition rally! (VFP)
  • You can kill me but I won’t stop speaking the truth: Sheikh Ilyas (Mihaaru)
  • I have come to Malé at the police’s request: Sheikh Ilyas (Vnews)
  • The first time Ilyas met Ibu: Ibu was chosen for wisdom! (Raajje)
  • Sheikh Ilyas to Shaheem: there is still time, repent! (Vnews)
  • I have no self-interest, I joined opposition to free Maumoon: Hiyalee (Avas)
  • I’m a daring person, they can’t summon me over anything: Hiyalee (Raajje)
  • I’m not afraid of being arrested for joining the opposition: Hiyalee (Mihaaru)
  • I have come to join the work of freeing the four leaders: Hiyalee (Vnews)
  • Addu will become an economic hub in Ibu’s government: Mayor Sodiq (Raajje)
  • Didi’s appeal to [Chief of Defence Forces] Shiyam and [Police Commissioner] Nawaz: Don’t abandon your vow to defend our rights! (Raajje)
  • President Yameen’s policy is frightening: Nizar (Raajje)
  • We won’t teach youth the philosophy of beg, borrow or steal: Aslam (Raajje)
  • There’s no other ruler who lies this much: Wadde (Raajje)
  • The Maldives has become an isolated mafia state: Inthi (Raajje)
  • Dhiyana’s warning: We have the energy to bring [Elections Commissioner] Shareef to justice (Raajje)
  • President Yameen visits islands like turtles do to lay eggs: Rozaina (Vnews)
  • Only rotten banana and rusty tin behind President Yameen: Rozaina (Raajje)

Joint opposition candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih ‘Ibu’ and running mate Faisal Naseem visited Addu City for their last campaign trip. Their 187-island whirlwind tour began in the southernmost atolls of Addu and Fuvahmulah on July 13.

The public will not allow the president to rig the election or change the outcome through the unlawful use of force, Ibu told supporters on Meedhoo.

In his speech at the main rally Thursday night, the veteran lawmaker pledged to end discrimination based on political affiliation. What he heard during the campaign were laments over injustices, inequities and deprivation, Ibu said.

“I am assuring you that in my government everyone will have equal access despite not signing for my party, be it jobs, loans, or contracts. No one will be left behind because of the [party] colour they like.”

No one will be fired, intimidated or jailed for political reasons and there won’t be a “minister’s list” for social housing flats.

An opposition victory is certain as 170,000 votes have been pledged, he declared.

The final campaign rally before Sunday’s polls ended with a prayer led by Sheikh Ilyas Hussain, who returned from Malaysia after he was summoned for questioning by police.

Before flying south to attend the Addu rally, former first lady Nasreena Ibrahim posted a video message appeal for voters to choose Ibu for the sake of jailed former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom. No Maldivian would believe that the 83-year-old former strongman was guilty of treason, said the former first lady, in a rare public appearance.

Among the speakers at the rally was ‘Hiyalee’ Mohamed Rasheed, a prominent businessman and close associate of President Abdulla Yameen who previously represented Addu in parliament. The sole reason for switching sides was to free Gayoom, he said.

Abdulla Ziyad, a senior policy executive at the housing ministry, was removed from his post after attending the opposition rally.