Campaign trail: Eid lull
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.
- Opposition coalition’s alloyed ideology cannot bring development: Saeed (PSM)
- Alif Alif people deprived of most basic services: Faisal (Vnews)
- Ibu to some homes in Malé and Vilimalé today as well (Raajje)
- Shaheem invites MPs Abulho and Saud to rejoin PPM (Mihaaru)
- A march with Shaheem to show support in Thinadhoo (Avas)
- We will build an Islamic monument at the site of the old Thinadhoo Friday mosque: Shaheem (PSM)
- We know very well how to run a government and how it should be run: Ibrahim Mohamed Solih (Vnews)
- MMPRC’s lease of islands and lagoons was the biggest theft from the state treasury: Ibu (Vnews)
- The biggest injury is aiding those who insult Islam: Sheikh Izzudeen (Sun)
- Saying that Islam will only remain in Maldives if a certain person is in power is like claiming Rubōbiyyath: Jameel (Vnews)
Campaign-related news has slowed down as the Maldives begins the Hajj and Eid al-Adha public holidays. Thousands flocked out of the capital ahead of the weekend for a nine-day vacation.
But neither side has suspended its campaign. The president’s running mate Dr Mohamed Shaheem marched with supporters in the populous battleground of Thinadhoo, making pledges and claiming the country would move backwards if the opposition wins on September 23.
He invited the Thinadhoo constituency’s two lawmakers, Abdulla Ahmed and Saudhulla Hilmy, to rejoin the ruling party. They are among a dozen former ruling party lawmakers deemed to have lost their seats. Both are campaigning for the opposition.
Religious political rhetoric continued with Sheikh Izzudeen Adnan firing back at clerics of the opposition Adhaalath Party who recently criticised Shaheem over a campaign photo on the steps of a mosque. Izzudeen – who is among a group of scholars campaigning with Shaheem – insinuated that the Adhaalath Party’s coalition partners include politicians who have mocked tenets of Islam.
Exiled former vice president Dr Mohamed Jameel Ahmed – the president’s former running mate – condemned the notion that the country’s 100 percent Muslim status was dependent on a particular ruler.
Opposition candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih ‘Ibu’ meanwhile continued door-to-door visits in the capital and its island suburb Vilimalé. On Saturday night, he appeared on Villa TV for a wide-ranging interview. The opposition coalition has qualified and experienced individuals who could serve in cabinet and senior posts, he said, pledging to restore the separation of powers.
He also pledged an independent inquiry into the theft of nearly US$80 million from resort lease payments under President Abdulla Yameen’s watch, a corruption scandal of unprecedented scale in Maldivian history.
Contrary to the findings of a damning 2016 audit, the number of islands and lagoons fraudulently leased could be as high as 160, the veteran lawmaker said.