A daily roundup of headlines made by the candidates, running mates and their surrogates on the campaign trail.
- There’s no future for Maldivian people with MDP: Thoriq (PSM)
- Thinadhoo is with President Yameen: citizens (PSM)
- Island councils are being instructed to award plots from reclaimed land: Minister Muizz (PSM)
- Coming to power on the back of EU is a danger to the nation (PSM)
- Development this government brought to Hulhumalé disproportionate to previous 15 years: Saeed (PSM)
- Dr Shaheem appeals to work in united ranks to win election (Mihaaru)
- Nasheed as Ibu’s campaign manager! (Mihaaru)
- MDP candidate’s manager was appointed without his knowledge!! (PSM)
- No intention of rejoining PPM, we call on Shaheem to return to right path: Abulho, Saud (Mihaaru)
- Opposition opens jagaha in Malaysia (Mihaaru)
- Joint parties hold big vehicle rally in Gaaf Alif Villigili (Raajje)
- Don’t consider duress, make your own decision: Faisal (Raajje)
- Tourism in Addu will be broadened in our government: Ibu (Raajje)
- Ibu’s pledge: We won’t fine without showing places to park (Avas)
- We won’t use a minister’s list for flats, we will reduce price of flats: Ibu (Raajje)
- We will make sure flats go to deserving and bring down prices: Ibu (Mihaaru)
Campaign activities remain minimal during the nine-day Hajj and Eid holidays.
Opposition candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih ‘Ibu’ opened a campaign meeting hall in the capital and slammed alleged discrimination in the allocation of social housing units from a “minister’s list.” He pledged to involve civil society in the applications evaluation process and to introduce a soft loan scheme to make payments affordable.
Parking zones need to be increased in Malé but a lasting solution to overcrowding is decentralisation and empowering local councils with the means to generate revenue, he continued, pledging to expand tourism in the southernmost atoll.
An opposition jagaha (meeting hall) was also opened in Malaysia, home to a growing diaspora, as the president’s running mate opened a ruling party office in Thinadhoo, appealing for campaigners to show unity and compassion.
Thinadhoo’s former ruling party lawmakers meanwhile rejected Dr Mohamed Shaheem’s invitation to return to the fold, reminding him that the constituency has been deprived of representation for more than a year.
In an interview with Mihaaru, Ibu revealed that exiled former president Mohamed Nasheed was his campaign manager, seeking to dispel rumours that the childhood friend was not as active in Colombo as expected.
“[Nasheed] wrote on our internal Whatsapp group [on Thursday] that ‘I am the campaign manager at present. I’ve taken up that role now,'” Ibu was quoted as saying. State media promptly seized on the remarks and breathlessly reported that Nasheed has declared himself campaign manager without consulting the candidate.
The state-owned Public Service Media (PSM) has long since shed any pretence of impartiality and functions as “a government mouthpiece,” in the words of a senior editor. Sunday’s coverage on its TV news channel featured an interview with Environment Minister Thoriq Ibrahim, who labelled the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party’s ideology as “ruinous” and “divisive,” and a report saying the people of Thinadhoo support the president out of gratitude for numerous development projects.
Other news included Housing Minister Dr Mohamed Muizz dismissing claims that island councils weren’t allowed to award plots from reclaimed land, and Economic Minister Mohamed Saeed’s response to Ibu’s criticism of the slow pace of housing projects in Hulhumalé, a reclaimed island near the capital.
State media also contributed to the religious line of attack that seeks to brand the opposition as a threat to the country’s 100 percent Muslim status. Sheikh Shafeeu Abdulla was reported as warning that the European Union would impose religious freedom and same-sex marriage.
“The EU has meddled with the country’s politics and called to bring people of other religions to power in the Maldives,” PSM declared.