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Campaign trail: water colour welcome

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.

August 23

  • Join us, we will form a national government: Ibu (Raajje)
  • Faisal returns to Malé after Fuvahmulah trip (Vnews)
  • No interest in participating in presidential debate as the whole state is on one side: Mariya (Raajje)
  • Ibu decides not participate in MNU debate (Mihaaru)
  • Ibu retracts interest to participate in presidential debate (Sun)
  • Coalition will remain in my government: Ibu (Mihaaru)
  • Majlis and council elections will also be contested as coalition: Ibu (Sun)
  • Colour on Ibu face as well today, islands gave an Eid welcome (Mihaaru)
  • Ibu too couldn’t escape Eid water fight (Avas)
  • Maldives has been indebted beyond escape: Ibu (Vnews)
  • Development could be brought threefold by stopping government’s wasteful expenditure: Ibu (Raajje)
  • We will provide water and sewerage to all islands within five years: Ibu (Sun)
  • We will establish transitional justice within first 18 months of government: Ibu (Vnews)
  • Infrastructure work should be done with the share of a Maldivian company: Ibu (Raajje)
  • We will involve Maldivian companies in infrastructure work: Ibu (Avas)
  • We will not award infrastructure projects without Maldivian share: Ibu (Mihaaru)
  • Jumhooree Party campaign team visits four islands in Dhaal atoll (Vnews)

Opposition candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih ‘Ibu’ began the Raa atoll leg of his northern tour, assuring voters on Hulhudhuffaaru that the opposition coalition would stay together in a national unity government. The allied parties would also contest the upcoming parliamentary and municipal elections as a coalition, he said.

Ibu’s greeting by the island’s women amid Eid holiday water colour fights caught the media’s attention.

Back in Malé, his spokeswoman told the press that the candidate was no longer interested in participating in the presidential debate organised by the Maldives National University and state media, citing the lack of independence of institutions and misuse of state resources for the ruling party campaign. The president’s refusal to participate in a debate planned by the opposition-aligned Raajje TV shows a lack of sincerity, she added.

At a rally on Alifushi island Thursday night, Ibu criticised the lack of transparency and open bidding in the awarding of massive projects to foreign firms, such as a US$56.2 million project to establish sewerage services on 20 islands.

The main goal of the coalition government would be establishing transitional justice during the first 18 months, he said, which would involve reviewing politically motivated convictions and sackings as well as unfairly adjudicated civil disputes.

A Jumhooree Party team led by the wife of exiled leader Gasim Ibrahim meanwhile campaigned in the south-central Dhaal atoll.

  • Finance minister visits Dhaal atoll and inspects projects (PSM)
  • Hope is flights will land in Kulhudhuffushi airport before election: president (PSM)
  • President Yameen fooled by fake news (Raajje)
  • President returns to Malé after Haa Dhaal atoll trip (Sun)
  • We will bring an end to dependency of Maamigili people’s progress on one man: minister Saeed (PSM)

President Yameen returned in the morning after visiting two populous northern islands. In his speech on Kulhudhuffushi the previous night, Yameen had expressed surprise over Ibu’s pledge to abolish the state waste management company.

But the president was referring to a doctored photo with a fake headline circulating on social media, Raajje TV noted. Government supporters have been sharing photos made to appear like notifications from Avas and Mihaaru with their logos but with fake headlines attributing damaging statements to the opposition candidate.

Senior government officials meanwhile continued campaigning with Finance Minister Ahmed Munawar visiting six islands in Dhaal atoll.

Ahead of a visit to Maamigili in Alif Dhaal atoll, Economic Development Minister Mohamed Saeed told state media of plans to create more job opportunities on the island, where an international port was opened last May. The dependence on one man was an obstacle to its people, he said, referring to JP leader Gasim Ibrahim, who has extensive business interests on his native island and a resort nearby.