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Campaign trail: president on the offensive

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.

August 22

  • President Yameen officially opens Nolhivaranfaru harbour (PSM)
  • A warm welcome, president opens Nolhivaranfaru harbour (Avas)
  • “MDP candidate should tell the truth about 400 islands illegally leased under party’s government” (PSM)
  • Abdul Raheem to Ibu: tell us what happened to 400 islands handed out by MDP (Avas)
  • We will lay tar on Nolhivaranfaru roads in second term: president (PSM)
  • You can’t rule by listening to what many leaders say: President Yameen (Mihaaru)
  • Ibu is someone who will be ordered about, he can’t rule: president (Avas)
  • Former auditor general Niyaz didn’t come to talk about resort leases: President Yameen (Mihaaru)
  • Former auditor general didn’t talk about leasing islands to develop resorts: president (Sun)
  • A state can be run when all the powers reside with the ruler: president (Raajje)
  • I need all the powers in my hands to run state: president (VFP)
  • President Yameen says projects don’t go ahead because of councils (Vnews)
  • President Yameen’s government has built 70 harbours, MDP government’s number was 24: Muizz (Mihaaru)
  • Valuing what President Yameen did means giving him another term: Muizz (Sun)
  • Completion of Kulhudhuffushi roads and shore protection marked (Avas)
  • My dream is being realised: President Yameen (Mihaaru)
  • You can call a thief a thief but you must prove the theft: President Yameen (Raajje)
  • You must only call someone a thief after proving it: President Yameen (Mihaaru)
  • President Yameen’s pledge: allowance for disabled children will be increased to MVR5,000 (Avas)
  • Instead of being political, Kulhudhuffushi people chose President Yameen’s development: Nasheed (Sun)
  • Kulhudhuffushi people are with development: Nasheed (PSM)
  • President Yameen has developed Maldives to an extent that no other ruler has: Thoriq (PSM)

President Abdulla Yameen returned to campaigning with visits to two northern islands, marking the completion of infrastructure projects, the cornerstone of his re-election bid. On each of his island stops, the president has been sharing metrics of government spending and contrasting the figures unfavourably with the ousted Maldivian Democratic Party government.

Pledging more projects on Nolhivaranfaru, he warned that the opposition would seek a parliamentary system after an 18-month interim government, in which case the prime minister would lack authority to govern as he would be beholden to influence from coalition party leaders. He challenged the opposition candidate to make his intentions clear to voters.

For the first time, Yameen addressed allegations by former auditor general Niyaz Ibrahim about ignoring concerns over corrupt dealings by his jailed former right-hand man.

The president also defended stripping municipal powers from city councils, accusing opposition-controlled island councils of refusing to cooperate in implementing projects such as futsal pitches.

Speaking on Kulhudhuffushi, Yameen said opposition leaders must first establish guilt over alleged graft before calling him a thief, promising to reveal details at the next rally of opposition figures implicated in corruption.

He also pledged to raise the disability allowance to MVR5,000 (US$324) a month under a new benefits scheme.

A bill proposed five years ago by Adhaalath Party MP Anara Naeem to raise the benefits was rejected by the ruling party-dominated parliament.

  • The people have decided, President Yameen is not in the picture: Ibu (Mihaaru)
  • Manadhoo public offer warm welcome to Ibu (Vnews)
  • I will recover stolen money from wherever it is: Ibu (Mihaaru)
  • Ibu calls on ACC to reveal MMPRC corruption information (Raajje)
  • I will recover stolen money from wherever it is: Ibu (Avas)
  • This government gave one island to seven people: Ibu (Vnews)
  • Coalition government will not issue illegal orders to army: Ibu (Vnews)
  • Opposition housing policy unveiled (Mihaaru)
  • We will provide allowance to pay rent, reduce home loan interest to 6%: Ibu (Avas)
  • We will make a law to provide housing to all citizens: Ibu (Raajje)
  • We will provide free housing to those who lack means to pay rent: Ibu (Sun)
  • Despite according city status to Fuvahmulah, services are unavailable: Faisal (Raajje)
  • President Yameen should resign without exposing himself: Dr Hussain (Raajje)
  • President Maumoon’s condition is very critical: Wadde (Raajje)
  • If we wanted to change this government outside the constitution, we would have succeeded by now: Ali Zahir (Raajje)
  • If limbs were severed for theft, this government’s senior officials wouldn’t have any limbs: Ahmed Easa (Raajje)
  • Constitution is the people’s shields, a lot of work has been done to destroy the shield: Ali Nizar (Raajje)

In an interview with the daily newspaper, joint opposition candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih ‘Ibu’ expressed confidence that the public’s determination would ensure fair polls despite questions over the Elections Commission’s integrity. “The people won’t go home after voting without getting the result,” he said.

Campaigning in Noonu atoll, Ibu pledged to recover US$80 million embezzled from the MMPRC, adding that the real figure would be three times higher as estimated by the former auditor general. He called on the anti-corruption corruption to disclose the findings of its investigation.

The stolen cash was enough to provide housing for 80 percent of the population in need of housing, or build 34 harbours or 15 airports, he said, reiterating allegations of graft and inflated costs in the government’s flagship projects.

At a rally on Miladhoo island, Ibu outlined the coalition’s policy to provide housing for 20,000 families in need of permanent shelter, which includes passing comprehensive social housing legislation, subsiding rent for low-income families, and lowering interest rates to six percent for loans to make advance payments.

Speakers from other parties in the MDP-led coalition kept up attacks on the Yameen administration over corruption and undemocratic misrule.