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Campaign trail: tuition-free college

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 6

  • The biggest mega-project carried out by this government was building futsal pitches: Ibu (Raajje)
  • Ibu’s response to “President Yameen will be sworn in even if he loses” (Mihaaru)
  • “I don’t see the calculation President Yameen has made” (Avas)
  • Basic services will not be provided as pledges but because they are constitutionally mandated: Ibu (Raajje)
  • We will develop Hanimaadhoo so that international flights could land: Ibu (Mihaaru)
  • We will create cultural and heritage ministry: Ibu (Raajje)
  • Not futsal pitches, we will build big stadiums: Ibu (Avas)
  • We will provide adequate health care for inmates as well: Faisal (Vnews)
  • Police will get promotions fairly in Ibu’s government: Faisal (Raajje)
  • This is a golden opportunity to find job security, make use of it: Faisal (Mihaaru)
  • We will show our size at Saturday’s mega rally: Faisal (Raajje)
  • A warm welcome from sea when Ibu went to Dhidhdhoo! (Vnews)
  • A noose was tied around the people’s neck in the name of development: Shahid (Raajje)
  • The country is impatient to be free of President Yameen: Shahid (Vnews)
  • Teacher’s salary will be increased: Ibu (Mihaaru)
  • Tuition will be free up to first degree, teacher’s salary will be increased: Ibu (Raajje)
  • Ibu’s education policy: soft loans and many scholarships! (Mihaaru)
  • Ibu’s education policy: teacher’s salary will be increased (Avas)
  • When voting day comes there’ll be few people with President Yameen: Ibu (Vnews)
  • Ibu is trying to solve social problems: Anara (Raajje)
  • Ibu is the religious, virtuous candidate: Anara (Mihaaru)
  • Yameen is left alone, choose the big side: Anara (Vnews)
  • Aisha calls to show result from vote (Vnews)

Continuing his tour of the northernmost atoll, joint opposition candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih ‘Ibu’ assured supporters “there won’t be any person or institution” who would stand in the way once voters decide on September 23. President Abdulla Yameen would have to accept defeat, he declared.

On the island of Kelaa, he pledged to develop the nearby Hanimadhoo airport to accommodate international flights in order to grow mid-market tourism. On Utheemu, he pledged to protect the country’s heritage and Islamic identity.

He was welcomed to his next stop Dhidhdhoo by several dinghies and boats decked out in the Maldivian Democratic Party’s yellow to escort the candidate’s speedboat into the harbour.

At a rally on the island Thursday night, Ibu laid out the coalition’s education policy, promising to cover tuition costs for undergraduate degrees in the Maldives, to offer more scholarships, and to introduce an affordable loan scheme to study overseas. Students could choose any country instead of the designated countries at present.

Boarding schools across the country and a junior college in each atoll would be established, the lawmaker continued. He pledged to increase pay and allowances for teachers, who would also be offered opportunities to pursue higher education.

  • No pledge opposition can fulfil for Baarah constituency, government has done everything: Shujau (Mihaaru)
  • MDA council hasn’t decided to bring MDA-PPM coalition to an end: Nihan (PSM)
  • MDP doesn’t have courage to develop Ihavandhippolhu: Saeed (Avas)
  • MDP made a promise not to develop Ihavandhippolhu: Saeed (Mihaaru)
  • The call should be to fear God, not to move beyond fear: Sheikh Fikry (PSM)
  • The Maldives is an advanced nation in this region in the energy sector: Thoriq (PSM)

With a major rally planned for Friday night to unveil the ruling party’s manifesto, neither the president nor his running mate spoke at any campaign events. On social media, Economic Development Minister Mohamed Saeed cast doubt on the MDP’s ability to develop the northernmost atoll, alleging a secret deal with an unnamed foreign party and seeking to deflect criticism over the failure to deliver the ‘iHavan‘ mega-project.

On Thursday night, First Lady Fathmath Ibrahim joined the environment minister and other senior officials at a function in Malé’s Republic Square to welcome the donation of 35 generators from China.

The Chinese assistance is a big boost to the government’s goal of ensuring 24-hour electricity to all 186 inhabited islands, said Thoriq Ibrahim, the minister of energy and environment. If President Yameen is re-elected, all island powerhouses would also be developed to modern standards, he pledged.

As with the bridge opening the previous week, the success of the policy was marked with a fireworks display.

Thoriq went on to attack the MDP’s government policy of regional utility companies. Electricity generated from renewable sources has also increased from two megawatts to nine megawatts under the Yameen administration, he said, with work ongoing on an additional five megawatts.