A daily roundup of headlines made by the candidates, running mates and their surrogates on the campaign trail.
- PPM cannot be weakened no matter how much intimidation the opposition poses: Dr Khaleel (PSM)
- Punishing those who tried to overthrow government is not tyranny: Shaheem (Avas)
- “Bridge Salhi”: there will be hopeful news tonight – PPM (PSM)
- “Rufiyaa will be devalued and dollar rate will rise to MVR20 in Ibu government” (Avas)
- The price of dollars will rise to MVR18-20 in Ibu’s government: Saeed (Mihaaru)
- Nasheed was corrupt in the sale of the airport: president (Mihaaru)
- “It was me who had the thinking of getting back airport” (Avas)
- If we expect sanctions, we will always remain in slavery: president (PSM)
- Intimidation with threat of sanctions is an encroachment of my electoral right: president (Mihaaru)
- Foreigners think of Maldives very crookedly: president (VFP)
- I should be thanked for not giving opportunity for Nasheed and Gasim: president (Avas)
- It was me that didn’t give opportunity for Nasheed and Gasim to contest: President Yameen (Mihaaru)
- President Yameen admits it was him who didn’t give president Nasheed and Gasim the opportunity to contest in election (Raajje)
- President’s pledge: GetSet will be given to 1,000 youth! (Avas)
- I will give GetSet loan to 1,000 youth: president (PSM)
- “No other can rule after boring through PPM” (Avas)
- The opposition is full of adversaries, they will break up very easily: Dr Shaheem (PSM)
- President Yameen has won the election: Dr Shaheem (Mihaaru)
- I will be a vice president much beloved by the president: Dr Shaheem (VFP)
- Adurey calls on Ibu and Faisal to withdraw their names (Avas)
- MDP can’t do any work beneficial to the nation as long as Nasheed remains: Abdul Raheem (PSM)
- Alhan Fahmy signs for PPM (Avas)
As advertised, President Abdulla Yameen was expected to unveil his manifesto or make grand pledges at the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives “mega rally” in the capital Friday night, dubbed ‘Bridge Salhi’ (roughly ‘Bridge is Cool’). But aside from a pledge to grant more entrepreneurship loans, Yameen used his hour-long speech to assail exiled former president Mohamed Nasheed, mostly over the 25-year lease of the international airport to GMR.
He claimed credit for eviction of the GMR-led consortium by his predecessor in December 2012, accusing former coalition partners of opposing the termination of the concession agreement. The Indian firm was paid US$271 million as compensation in November 2016.
Yameen slammed threats of sanctions by the West as “an act of imperialism” and an attempt to violate his rights as a candidate and unduly influence the September 23 presidential election. While he was “sad and hesitant” because of the threats, he would not bow down to pressure as Maldivians do not deserve to “always remain in imperial enslavement.”
He blamed the opposition for inviting foreign powers to undermine Maldivian independence and sovereignty.
The president made waves with an apparent admission of barring his main rivals from contesting. MPs Ibrahim Mohamed Solih ‘Ibu’ and Faisal Naseem have him to thank for securing the joint opposition ticket, Yameen said.
“Why does Ibu express gratitude to me? Because I excluded president [Mohamed] Nasheed. I excluded [Jumhooree Party leader] Gasim Ibrahim. That’s why those two [Ibu and Faisal] got the ticket.”
In the face of widespread condemnation over the jailing of politicians and the reversal of democratic gains, Yameen previously maintained that there are no political prisoners in the Maldives.
- With Baarah, Ibu’s number of island campaign visits reach 100 (Raajje)
- A parade for Ibu on 100th island! (Mihaaru)
- 100th island visited in campaign is a garland of welcome for Ibu! (Vnews)
- Talk of northern unrest after 75 years: Ibu pledged to give proposed powers! (Raajje)
- Ibu to all Haa Alif islands: “hope has been renewed” (Mihaaru)
- Ibu returns to Malé after successful trip to Thiladhunmathi (Vnews)
- Ibu concludes Haa Alif trip (Avas)
- We will establish justice within police: Faisal (Vnews)
- We have come out to find dignity for the police uniform: Mariya (Raajje)
- It’s the coalition that would know best the condition of Malé residents: Shifa (Vnews)
- We should vote for Ibu to not be enslaved to rulers: Eva (Raajje)
- We will provide special assistance to the disabled: Faisal (Vnews)
- This is the time to come out, example has been shown against intimidation over jobs: Faisal (Raajje)
- Vote Ibu/Faisal for the sake of generations to come: Aisha (Vnews)
Opposition candidate Ibu covered 100 out of 186 inhabited islands with his visit to Baarah in the northernmost Haa Alif atoll. He was escorted into the island by a parade of men carrying mock wooden guns, conch shells and drums. They followed instructions bellowed out by a commander.
On most islands, Ibu was greeted by men and women performing traditional dances and long rows of supporters waiting to shake his hand.
The veteran lawmaker visited all inhabited islands of Haa Alif during the past three days. As running mate Faisal Naseem has separately visited 76 islands, Ibu noted that there are only 11 islands left for the pair to visit before polling day in just over two weeks.
On Baarah, he repeated the pledge to create a ministry to protect heritage sites and to empower island councils with the means to raise finances. “The island’s council will determine the island’s affairs.”
Referring to the brutal quashing of civil unrest in the northern atolls 75 years ago, the lawmaker said Maldivians do not want to see history repeat itself. The upcoming vote would bring an end to tyranny, he said.