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Campaign trail: Tablet trumps banana

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 4

  • Ibu goes door-to-door in homes of mid-Maafanu constituency (Raajje)
  • We will provide shelter to everyone in Malé: Ibu (Mihaaru)
  • There won’t be any resident of Malé without housing: Ibu (Sun)
  • Supporters won’t back down despite intimidation: Ibu (Mihaaru)
  • Ibu says all children can get free higher education! (Raajje)
  • I won’t sign if voter’s list is given at the last moment: Ibu (Avas)
  • I will sign voter’s list after verifying its validity: Ibu (Raajje)
  • 20 teachers from Iskandhar meet Ibu (Mihaaru)
  • More than 20 teachers from Iskandhar support Ibu (Raajje)
  • We need to get rid of fear that religious scholars face: Faisal (Vnews)
  • Maumoon, Faris and Nadheem hope to be freed in Ibu’s government: lawyer (Mihaaru)
  • Government knows election can’t be won: Faisal (Vnews)
  • Sheikh Ilyas is doing a national task, we’re grateful for it: Faisal (Raajje)

After returning from a tour of the southern Huvadhu atoll, joint opposition candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih ‘Ibu’ resumed door-to-door campaigning in the capital. The opposition parliamentary leader visited the home of jailed lawmaker Faris Maumoon and met with his family.

Speaking at the opening of a campaign meeting hall in Malé dedicated to people from Fuvahmulah, Ibu said supporters were undaunted by intimidation and threats of sacking. “We’re seeing this in the trips to islands. Civil servants and employees of government companies are moving beyond fear and starting to join our campaign,” he said.

“On one island I went to, all the teachers came out and joined us.”

He repeated the pledge to provide housing to all residents of the overcrowded capital. A coalition government would offer housing subsidies and facilitate access to long-term loans at a six percent interest rate and a fixed MVR5,000 (US$324) monthly repayment plan.

  • President inaugurates Alif Dhaal Maamigili sewerage service (PSM)
  • The biggest planes will land at Velana airport before voting: president (Mihaaru)
  • A380 planes will start landing at VIA before the vote: president (Sun)
  • We should think about working behind development: president (PSM)
  • No need for banana, tablets have been given: president (Avas)
  • Ari atoll needs to change thinking without being “stuck” in particular ideology: president (Mihaaru)
  • Ari atoll development wasn’t brought by particular people: president (Sun)
  • A regional standard port to be established in Kudahuvadhoo (PSM)
  • President heavily criticises opposition pledges (Mihaaru)
  • Vote for candidate number one, you’ll get first place in everything: president (Sun)
  • Airport is a piece of luck for Kulhudhuffushi: Shaheem (Avas)
  • President Yameen will win election with 80%: Nihan (Sun)

Concluding his tour of Ari atoll, President Yameen said the new runway at the Velana International Airport was one example of the transformational development achieved in the past five years. It was akin to “a small nation making a rocket to go to the moon, if we remained in the old way of thinking.” The expansion of the airport to cater to seven million passengers annually is a flagship project of Yameen’s administration.

Speaking on Maamigili, the home island of Jumhooree Party leader Gasim Ibrahim, Yameen urged the public to abandon the JP, the party that carried the majority in the atoll during past elections. The highest number of projects for the atoll were carried out by the current government, he said.

On Kudahuvadhoo island, Yameen mocked the opposition’s pledges as small and insignificant compared to the large-scale projects he was promising, such as a commercial port for the south-central island. “Should the level of our thinking be at giving a banana and an egg to every school child? Look, I have put a tablet in the hands of every school child.”

That was development as students were spared from carrying heavy bookbags up the stairs, he said.

“An egg isn’t development and a banana for sure isn’t development.”