The Minority Leader of Parliament, Hinnavaru MP Ibrahim Mohamed Solih declared on Wednesday that the Presidential Address, given during the first parliamentary sitting of 2017 last Monday, was a hopeless fabricated statement.
Speaking to Mihaaru, MP Solih said that the purpose of a Presidential Address is to provide clear identification of the country’s state, but rather than expanding on the required topic, President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom had focused on the labour market and economy.
“For instance, the president stated that over 63,000 jobs were created. Who would believe such a claim when already there are only 60,000 jobs in existence? Out of those, 30,000 are solely government based. The private sector also caters the same amount of jobs. So, to claim that 63,000 additional jobs have been created would mean that there total 130,000 jobs now," said the lawmaker.
However, he pointed out that a lot more citizens are in dire need of employment.
He also criticized the president's statement that the Maldives' economy had grown by 3 percent, saying such it is "a backward growth" in comparison to the economic growth speed of the world.
“So there is no benefit of an economic plan. The oil prices and staple food prices have declined the most last year, but the Maldivian economy did not improve."
Solih he added that the nation's debt has increased to an amount never seen before in history, while the future sources of income have been now been sold off.
He also highlighted that several rights of the citizens were violated while President Yameen had claimed in his address to promote peace and harmony.
“From what I see, it is a backward step in democracy. Last year spread much grief and sorrow among the public."
He further said that the public is currently most concerned over the state of the country's judiciary, but President Yameen has not attempted to regain public trust in that sector.
He also pointed out that the president did not mention anything regarding the embezzled funds owed to the state, making the address more hopeless.
According to Subject 84 of the Constitution, the Presidential Address should emphasize the current national state and steps necessary to advance it, while Subject 25 stipulates that, excluding the President’s political party, the party holdings the most number of seats on the parliament must respond to the address within a fortnight.