Campaign trail: ‘stealing in advance’
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.
- Historic photos with Ibu and Nasheed (Avas)
- We see from this government uncivilised and inhumane characteristics: Jameel (Vnews)
- Gasim’s questions to institutions over president’s “advance stealing”! (Vnews)
- Ibu and Faisal have visited 127 islands, three atolls remaining: Mariya (VFP)
- Talk of stealing in advance will be investigated: Mariya (Vnews)
- Public won’t be hesitant even if coalition is criticised: Ameen (Raajje)
- A rally to be held in Addu with Sheikh Ilyas (Raajje)
- Efforts to twist the truth won’t succeed: Sheikh Ilyas (Vnews)
- Ibu and Faisal have visited 127 islands and met more than 200,000 people: Mariya (Raajje)
The opposition candidates were not involved in any official campaign events Tuesday, a rarity after weeks of island hopping. On the previous day, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih ‘Ibu’ met supporters in Colombo as running mate Faisal Naseem concluded a tour of Shaviyani atoll.
Opposition campaign activities continued across the country, with a youth team canvassing support in the southern Gaaf Alif atoll.
Opposition figures also seized on President Abdulla Yameen’s apparent admission or offhand dismissal of stealing. In response to Ibu accusing him of “stealing in advance” from revenue expected in 10 or 20 years, Yameen had said that his administration has resolved longstanding problems such as the Malé dumpsite, “so stealing in advance is fine.”
- President Yameen officially opens Raa Innamaadhoo harbour (PSM)
- Interim hats don’t fit our heads: president (Mihaaru)
- Lost money will be found under mattresses at homes: president (Vnews)
- Assaults increasing to coincide with election: president (Avas)
- Dangerous and immoral acts have started with vote season: president (Raajje)
- 12 MPs who quit PPM won’t have any say in opposition coalition: president (Sun)
- Coalition formed by opposition isn’t broad, it’s burdensome: president (Mihaaru)
- Falah mocks Innamaadhoo opposition supporters: They are blind (VFP)
- President Yameen opens Inguraidhoo harbour (PSM)
- People with basic education level unfit for presidency: Abdul Raheem (Avas)
- If opposition is given power, Islam will be wiped out from Maldivian soil: Muizz (Sun)
- Do not vote for Ibu unless you want to do wrong with your own hands: Muizz (Raajje)
- People who love Islam will not vote for MDP candidate: Muizz (PSM)
- Inguraidhoo health centre will be changed to provide 24-hour service: president (VFP)
- Coming up to election without tying my feet was idiotic of opposition: president (Sun)
- The biggest treason is changing parties: president (Avas)
- Coming up to election without tying my feet was idiotic: president (Mihaaru)
- This government’s vision is one where everyone participates: president (PSM)
- President Yameen brought prosperity to nation through political storms: Shaheem (PSM)
- “The ruler of Maldives should be an educated person with guts” (Avas)
- Opposition government can’t get investors: Minister Zameer (PSM)
- I didn’t look into MDP corruption to avoid heating up situation: president (Mihaaru)
- On all sides of Malé you see my development: president (VFP)
- I gave six projects for every three projects by MDP government: president (Sun)
- President opens Maafaru airport (Mihaaru)
- Opposition leaders are inside a bottle, only Nasheed can remove the lid: President Yameen (Mihaaru)
- Ahead of President Yameen’s Velidhoo visit, MDP meeting hall shut down with court order (Mihaaru)
- President joins ceremony to mark completion of three projects in Velidhoo (PSM)
- Warm welcome from President Yameen’s mother’s island Velidhoo (Avas)
- Three arrested from Velidhoo including youth who yelled thief (VFP)
- Youth arrested from Velidhoo for yelling thief (Raajje)
- Come and debate, we’ll show who stole: Falah (Sun)
- “Yameen will get the biggest majority from Laamu” (Mihaaru)
Continuing his tour of the northern Raa and Noonu atolls, President Yameen visited six islands, opening harbours, sewage systems and the newly-built Maafaru airport. He kept up attacks on the “cocktail coalition” and proposals for interim arrangements.
The public doesn’t care about sources of financing for infrastructure projects, he said. “The people of this island wouldn’t want to know whether President Yameen’s government made the harbour here by taking future incomes, or stealing in advance,” he said on Innamaadhoo island.
The allegation of theft and corruption was an appeal to emotion, he said, urging voters to think before casting ballots.
The three-year Maldivian Democratic Party government was more deserving of the opposition’s barbs of corruption and inhumane treatment, he suggested, heavily criticising his former ministers and vice president as well as estranged coalition partners Gasim Ibrahim and the Adhaalath Party for allying with the MDP.
The former allies have amnesia or the ability to shed skin for political advantage, he said, referring to the nationalist campaign against the MDP government’s leasing of the international airport to Indian developer GMR.
The Adhaalath Party has also forgotten their accusations against the MDP of irreligiosity or secularism, he added.
If the MDP’s alleged corruption had been investigated early in his term, Yameen said opposition leaders would have been jailed sooner. He believed the “wounds” of the past would never have healed. But the opposition rejected 13 invitations to seek a negotiated end to the protracted stand-off, he claimed. Their demands for the release of convicted leaders were “selfish” and legally impractical.
He went on to accuse the opposition of seeking foreign pressure or sanctions since the May Day 2015 mass protest.
Yameen also took aim at the dozen former ruling party lawmakers who joined the opposition last year, including the MP for the Meedhoo and Madduvari constituency that he visited Tuesday. He called their defection “treasonous.” The 12 lawmakers are deemed to have lost their seats.
He would brush off attacks that land on him, but within legal bounds, Yameen repeatedly declared. The opposition tried several times to unlawfully remove him from his office, he said.
He urged the public to be ready with “vaccines and antibiotics” to protect against “viruses” that would spread ahead of the election.
The president’s running mate meanwhile continued to campaign in Laamu atoll.
Ahead of the president’s arrival on Velidhoo island, police shut down the MDP meeting hall and seized megaphones and loudspeakers with a court warrant. Three people were arrested from the jetty area when Yameen arrived, including a young man who yelled thief at the president. They have since been released. As on other islands, anti-Yameen banners were also removed.
“We don’t want a ruler who steals in advance,” read one banner.