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Campaign trail: sheikh on sheikh

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 2

  • No right to talk of religion without establishing justice: Sheikh Ilyas (Mihaaru)
  • We won’t give second chance for theft and corruption: Ibu (Vnews)
  • In an opposition government, people won’t have second chance for corruption: Ibu (Mihaaru)
  • Ibu is a competent person to repay government debt: Ameeth (Mihaaru)
  • The power to develop islands will be given to councils: Ibu (Avas)
  • The public wish to see justice done if nothing else: Ibu (Sun)
  • We will reclaim land in Dhaandhoo and make the changes needed for the harbour: Ibu (Raajje)
  • In Dhaandhoo, Ibu’s pledges to fishermen (VFP)
  • We will take off the locks on Majlis: Ibu (Avas)
  • We will open the “lock” on Majlis: Ibu (Mihaaru)
  • Warm welcome for Ibu from Villigili (Vnews)
  • Shaheem’s island says no to government and shows support for Ibu (Raajje)
  • Ibu will win the election and free police of political influence: Mariya (Vnews)
  • The manifesto will be released very soon: Mariya (Raajje)
  • The signature Ibu was made to sign on a child’s chest (Mihaaru)
  • Employees to bigger side without fear! (Raajje)
  • In an opposition government, people who bend to political influence can’t stay in institutions: Ibu (Mihaaru)
  • People who bend to influence can’t stay in independent institutions: Ibu (VFP)
  • We will resolve visa issues for Maldivians living in India: Faisal (Vnews)
  • We will create a close relationship with India: Faisal (Mihaaru)
  • Ibu will get 77% from Malé: President Nasheed (Raajje)
  • Ibu pledges to connect Villigili and Kooddoo with a bridge (Raajje)
  • Many pledges from Ibu with connecting Villigili and Kooddoo with a bridge (Mihaaru)
  • One of the biggest tasks of the coalition is to establish justice: Ibu (Raajje)
  • Tyranny and theft will not come to an end as long as President Yameen is in power: Aisha (Raajje)

Joint opposition candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih ‘Ibu’ continued his 18-island tour of the southern Gaaf Alif and Gaaf Dhaal atolls, reiterating pledges to empower councils and highlighting corruption and injustice.

“Behind every development plan that’s implemented, there’s theft and corruption to the extreme. The amount of money needed for a building is spent twofold. This is what the people don’t accept,” he said on Kodey island. The newly-opened Sinamalé bridge could have been built for US$78 million but ended up costing US$300 million, he alleged.

If elected, Ibu vowed to lift the “military siege” of parliament and to restore the independence of autonomous state institutions such as the tax authority.

Among his pledges for the southern atoll were a Villigili-Kooddoo bridge, a fish cannery or processing factory, an international airport, and a nationwide social housing scheme with loans issued at a six percent interest rate and controlled rent of MVR5,000 (US$324) a month.

  • “Not just anyone can grab President Yameen’s ear” (Avas)
  • Shaheem to Ilyas: you can’t topple this government with a fatwa! (Mihaaru)
  • Fiery responses to Sheikh Ilyas from Dr Shaheem (Sun)
  • Dr Shaheem’s verbal attacks on Sheikh Ilyas (VFP)
  • “Scholars working in the same ranks as Christian missionaries is the biggest harm that could be done to the nation” (PSM)
  • Scholars don’t have the right to perpetrate a coup against the ruler in the name of speaking the truth: Dr Shaheem (Mihaaru)
  • Nihan’s verbal attacks on Sheikh Ilyas! (Raajje)
  • The government shouldn’t be a battle between two or three houses: Shaheem (Raajje)
  • In presidential race, President Yameen will take the lead in Malé City as well: Moosa Manik (PSM)

Campaigning in the northernmost Haa Alif and Haa Dhaal atolls, the president’s running mate Dr Mohamed Shaheem hit back at his former colleague from the Adhaalath Party.

Sheikh Ilyas Hussain, a prominent cleric and president of the Adhaalath Party’s council of scholars, made waves with a lengthy speech at an opposition rally in Addu City the previous night. Taking aim at the use of religion in the ruling party campaign, the preacher stressed the importance of justice and the evil of corruption in Islam.

Speaking on Nolhivaram island, Shaheem said sheikhs appear every five years in the Maldives to pass judgment upon the ruler to remove him from office. But there aren’t any “blessed people” in the present day and clerics should not believe their words could bring down a government, the Islamic University’s chancellor declared.

Shaheem suggested that he resigned as Islamic minister due to pressure from the Adhaalath Party, which was part of the coalition that brought President Abdulla Yameen to power in 2013.

Religious scholars in the opposition coalition were working alongside Christian missionaries, he alleged, adding that they were now allied with former rivals who branded them as terrorists.

Scholars do not have the right to incite strife and discord and plot coups, Shaheem reiterated on Kulhudhuffushi.