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Campaign trail: imperialist influence

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.

September 11

  • The Maldives is in a muddle: Ibu (Mihaaru)
  • Aneesa to Raa atoll with Maumoon’s team to gain support for Ibu (Vnews)
  • Maumoon’s close associates depart to islands to gain support for Ibu (Mihaaru)
  • Ibu did not have any intent of bringing police into disrepute: Mariya (Raajje)
  • Call for police to stop intimidation in relation to Ibu’s campaign (Mihaaru)
  • President Yameen isn’t the police candidate: coalition (Vnews)
  • Kudafari government employees support Ibu (Avas)
  • Strong message from Kudafari civil servants: we don’t care if we’re fired from our jobs, come out to the path of justice! (Raajje)
  • Those who sack employees will be brought to justice: Ibu (Vnews)
  • President Yameen doesn’t have Siyam’s support, join us quickly: Ibu (Mihaaru)
  • A special invitation from Ibu on Siyam’s birth island (Avas)
  • Ibu goes to Foakaidhoo and releases four leaders of the coalition! (Vnews)
  • Iby symbolically “frees” four leaders! (Mihaaru)
  • Ibu’s first day symbolically: leaders “freed”! (Avas)
  • These were cruel five years, we will save the Maldives: Ibu (Raajje)
  • It won’t do to criticise the EU, the world is opposed to dictators: Ibu (Mihaaru)
  • No room for dictators in the 21st century: Ibu (Vnews)
  • This government doesn’t know modern development: Ibu (Avas)
  • Ibu makes people smile with many pledges for Sh. atoll (Raajje)
  • MPs’ displeasure towards president: no forgiveness (Avas)
  • “President Yameen committed an atrocity, there will be no forgiveness” (Mihaaru)
  • The campaign will end with Yameen admitting to all the atrocities he committed: Ameeth (Raajje)
  • Ibu too says an airport will be built in Bileyfahi (Avas)
  • We will connect Dhiyamigili and Medhufushi: Faisal (Raajje)
  • The tar won’t come loose within three days in our government: Faisal (Vnews)
  • We will remove obstacles to doing business: Faisal (Raajje)
  • We will conduct fair trial for President Yameen’s crimes: Hisaan (Raajje)
  • The Maldives does not fit any standard in the world to measure development: Ameen (Vnews)
  • Islamic rulers don’t make empty noises: Ali Zahir (Raajje)
  • President Yameen is caught in a swordfish net: Abdulla Shahid (Raajje)

Continuing his tour of the northern Noonu and Shaviyani atolls, joint opposition candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih ‘Ibu’ accused the president of selling off islands and lagoons in corrupt deals.

“Some islands have been given to two, three people, and three, four islands given to others in the same name, the Maldives is in such a muddle.”

Opposition parties came together despite differences of opinion because all agree on the urgent need for change, the veteran lawmaker told supporters on Fodhdhoo island. Millions have been stolen, he alleged.

On Kudafari, he urged MP Ahmed ‘Sun’ Siyam, a tourism tycoon and absent leader of the government-aligned Maldives Development Alliance, to join the coalition. On Foakaidhoo, the candidate released four men from a wooden cage. They were wearing masks of the opposition coalition’s jailed leaders.

At the main rally Tuesday night on the island, Ibu hit back at the president’s claim that Western powers were trying to exert undue influence over the September 23 polls. The modern world is intertwined and the Maldives stands to gain nothing from antagonising neighbours and becoming isolated. Corrupt and autocratic leaders were losing power across the globe, Ibu said.

Development is measured by individual liberty, personal income and ability to repay debt, he said, “none of which involves concrete and steel.” The coalition was seeking development that ensures equality and public order, he added.

Maldivians throughout the country were anxious, he continued. Most are anxious about healthcare or making rent, fishermen and boat owners are anxious about loan repayments, and parents are anxious about drug addicted children.

“Youth remain anxious and hesitant to go out on the streets for fear of getting stabbed to death. Businessmen are anxious and worried about a fine MIRA might impose.”

Promising to pursue a decentralisation policy, Ibu made numerous pledges for islands in Shaviyani atoll, including harbours, sewerage and powerhouses as well as single-session schools, expanded health centres, and laboratory services. Airport projects on Bileyfahi and Funadhoo would be completed, he pledged.

  • President Yameen inaugurates seven development projects in Thinadhoo (PSM)
  • President opens Thinadhoo Islamic centre, museum park (PSM)
  • Ibu wouldn’t dare ask EU not to impose sanctions: president (Mihaaru)
  • Opposition candidate won’t dare call on foreign parties not to influence election: president (PSM)
  • “There is no choice, no opportunity, but to vote for me” (Avas)
  • I stripped MPs of their seats: president (Mihaaru)
  • I did the most work to strip MPs of their seats: President Yameen (Raajje)
  • I did the leading work to vacate seats: president (Avas)
  • MPs who joined the opposition have lost their seats: President Yameen (VFP)
  • Despite differences of opinion, relations between siblings shouldn’t be weakened: president (Mihaaru)
  • 150 plots will be awarded next week from Thinadhoo reclaimed land: housing minister (PSM)
  • Government decides to award 150 plots to coincide with election (Raajje)
  • “Show in the vote the resolve to overcome bitterness of the past” (PSM)
  • Many pledges of Shaheem to Hulhudheli (Avas)
  • President should be given second term to encourage development: Dr Shaheem (PSM)
  • Shaheem’s pledges to people of Hulhudheli (Mihaaru)
  • Shaheem in MDP haruge: no one he will not talk to (Avas)
  • We can’t say no to President Yameen’s development: Alhan Fahmy (PSM)
  • The opposition has an inexperienced person: Adurey (Mihaaru)
  • Thousands participate in rally to give assurance of ‘Hiyaa’ project (PSM)
  • Water company’s 20% percent share has reached US$40 million: Fazul (PSM)
  • President Yameen’s verbal attacks to Maumoon’s close associates: that is a bit too much! (Mihaaru)
  • President Yameen to Maumoon’s associates: that is a bit much (Avas)
  • Dignitaries supporting those who encourage unrest raises questions: president (PSM)
  • Public will know that I get halal money: President Yameen (Mihaaru)
  • Foreign parties do listen to what Maldivians say: President Yameen (VFP)
  • MDP’s education policy was a joke to the president (Avas)
  • We will buy a submarine cable and lower internet cost: President Yameen (Mihaaru)
  • We will buy our own submarine cable and reduce internet prices by 30%: president (Avas)
  • ICT sector will be broadened and cheap internet provided with a submarine cable for Maldivians: president (PSM)

Campaigning in the southern population hub of Thinadhoo, President Abdulla Yameen blamed the opposition for threats of sanctions from the European Union, which he described as an unprecedented attempt to influence the election. Unlike Western “imperialist” powers, China and Arab nations provide valuable assistance without undue influence, he said.

“Go and study how much money we have got for the development of the Maldives from those who raise their voice to bring democracy.”

Yameen declared that he played a leading role in stripping a dozen former ruling party lawmakers of their seats, including the two MPs who represent Thinadhoo. They will never be forgiven for the damage done to the ruling party, he added.

The lawmakers were deemed to have lost their seats after defecting to hand the opposition a clear majority. The constitution requires by-elections within two months to fill vacant seats but 60,000 constituents – nearly a quarter of the Maldivian electorate – have now been deprived of representation for more than a year.

Speaking at a rally in Hulhumalé to celebrate the ‘Hiyaa’ housing project, Yameen heavily criticised state dignitaries who served under former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom for joining the opposition. Representing Yameen’s jailed half-brother as the ‘Maumoon Reform Movement’ in the opposition coalition, former ministers have been campaigning door-to-door in the atolls.

The president went on to say that serious crimes have fallen 30 percent during the past five years. This was because job opportunities and sports facilities have been created for youth, he said.

He pledged to invest in a submarine cable to lower internet prices and to develop ICT parks in Hulhumalé and Vilimalé 2. With international business centres to be established in the new city, Hulhumalé would become a regional hub, he said.