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Campaign trail: island hopping

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 17

  • Ibu and Faisal visit all islands for campaign (Raajje)
  • Ibu and Faisal to all islands, this is record! (Mihaaru)
  • Pledge to visit all islands fulfilled (VFP)
  • Ibu’s praise for the people of Feeali! (Raajje)
  • Ibu saw the most pleasing sight on Feeali (VFP)
  • Housing units in Kolhufushi and tourism on nearby islands (VFP)
  • Ibu pledges to build an airport in Meemu atoll (Avas)
  • Ibu pledges to build an airport in Meemu Muli (Mihaaru)
  • We will form a council to listen to youth, we will listen to the public in decision-making: Ibu (Raajje)
  • We will set up a mechanism where concerns can be brought to senior officials: Ibu (VFP)
  • Ibu was gifted the biggest flower bouquet from Mulaku (Mihaaru)
  • A flower bouquet larger than Ibu from Mulaku! (Avas)
  • The government will not accept the result of the vote: Ibu (Raajje)
  • The government is not expected to accept the result of the vote: Ibu (Avas)
  • We will change things that harmed sovereignty: Ibu (VFP)
  • We will do everything necessary to keep the Maldives an independent nation: Ibu (Vnews)
  • I get Sheikh Imran’s counsel every day: Ibu (VFP)
  • Maamigili PPM youth support Ibu (Raajje)
  • We have done in 45 days what the government couldn’t do in five years: Faisal (Vnews)
  • Faris’s wife campaigning in Dhiggaru (Avas)
  • Faris’s wife joins Ibu campaign for first time (Vnews)
  • On Dhiggaru, Ibu’s praise for Faris and Maumoon (Avas)
  • We will develop a resort in Kashiguraidhoo: Faisal (Vnews)
  • That was a “selfie political debate”: Mariya (Raajje)
  • MNU has thrown its reputation into a “mudhole”: Jameel (Vnews)
  • It was President Yameen’s government that brought the system that paved the way for embezzling public funds: Mariya (Raajje)
  • Madam Aisha arrives in Addu to gain support for Ibu (Vnews)
  • “Think! They’re pulling wool over your eyes in the name of development” (Avas)
  • A youth was slaughtered on the street every 47 days: Mahloof (VFP)
  • The past five years was ruinous for Addu: mayor (Vnews)
  • We must not give the opportunity to rig the vote: Nadira (Raajje)

With a visit to Maaeboodhoo in Dhaalu atoll, opposition candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih ‘Ibu’ and running mate Faisal Naseem between themselves covered all 187 inhabited islands in the Maldives. The pair launched the campaign in early July, often visiting five or six islands in one day.

“We have met people all throughout the country. We hear the same thing. They all say the same thing. It’s about establishing justice, recovering the lost money, finding the perpetrators and holding them accountable,” Ibu told supporters on the island.

In contrast to President Abdulla Yameen’s policy of consolidating the population in the capital, the coalition would seek to develop the Maldives as an island nation, he said.

He went on to visit several islands in the central Meemu and Faafu atolls. On Dhiggaru – where he was joined by the wife of the constituency’s jailed lawmaker Faris Maumoon – Ibu pledged to build an airport on Muli and to connect the island via a causeway to Naalafushi. Meemu is one of the few atolls in the country without a regional airport.

On Mulaku, he was gifted a life-size flower bouquet. On Feeali in Faafu atoll, Ibu addressed supporters on a floating platform in the island’s lagoon.

  • Influential nations want to form a puppet government in the Maldives: Dr Shaheem (PSM)
  • President Yameen has conquered the opposition coalition’s chest: Shaheem (Avas)
  • Presidential debate: certainty for PPM, opposition saw it as self-incrimination! (Mihaaru)
  • First lady travels to Dhaalu atoll for campaign (PSM)
  • Ibu is doing wrong by bringing out teachers and children for the campaign: Nihan (Mihaaru)
  • It was ugly that teachers and children were brought out for opposition campaign: Nihan (Avas)
  • 20,000 chairs to be placed on sand pitch for rally to show size (Raajje)
  • A record number of chairs will be placed for the size rally: Nihan (Avas)
  • National unity will be seen in tomorrow night’s big rally: Nihan (PSM)
  • MVR1,000 for everyone who comes to show real size (Raajje)
  • The hoped-for target is big, it will be seen in the size of the rally: PPM (Mihaaru)
  • Many chartered flights to show PPM’s size! (Raajje)
  • Flights full of people coming for PPM’s big rally (Avas)
  • People from Addu to PPM rally on big flight (Mihaaru)
  • While opposition pledged low-interest loans, the government has already fulfilled that pledge: Minister Muizz (PSM)

The ruling Progressive Party of Maldives is gearing up for its mass rally on Tuesday night. Supporters have been arriving in the capital on chartered flights from across the country. There will be 20,000 chairs at the rally grounds at the Maafannu stadium in Malé, MP Ahmed Nihan told the press.

The rally was planned to show the PPM’s “official size” after a massive turnout at an opposition’s rally in Malé. Nihan denied that civil servants and staff at government-owned companies would be forced to attend. Employees will be invited but they will not be punished for not attending, the PPM parliamentary group leader said.

The lack of disciplinary action taken against civil servants who openly campaign for the opposition candidate was proof of this, Nihan added, criticising teachers who have publicly endorsed Ibu. This was a break from past elections where teachers never got on a stage with presidential candidates, he said.

He also slammed the presence of children wearing party colours or carrying the opposition candidates ballot number boards at campaign events. This was different from government supporters greeting the president with their children when he arrives on official visits, Nihan argued.

Campaigning in Kaafu atoll, the president’s running mate Dr Mohamed Shaheem echoed Nihan’s insistence that the PPM enjoys strong support and popularity among the public. The opposition is forced to bring people over from nearby islands to mask their inability to draw large crowds when their candidate visits, Shaheem claimed. In contrast, the people who greeted him on Gaafaru were residents of the island, he told supporters.

“There’s no doubt that President Yameen will be elected with a comfortable majority.”