Presidential candidate of the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) / People's National Congress (PNC) Dr. Mohamed Muizzu has also pledged that the media will be allocated funds from the state budget in order to facilitate opportunities for independent journalism. He made this statement at a campaign event held in Alif Dhaalu atoll Mahibadhoo.
Campaigning for the second round of the presidential election, Dr. Muizzu highlighted the hard work done by journalists to cover his campaign and bring the news to the people.
He said that journalists or media is one important aspect of strengthening democracy. He said that the media is the fourth power that leads efforts to ensure that governments are held accountable.
He further said that journalism is, however, "enslaved" today.
"We hear that some state-owned enterprises or sometimes the President's Office provides funding. When this occurs, there is a government's power and influence on journalism," said Dr. Muizzu.
Dr. Muizzu said that there are insufficient opportunities for education and training for those aspiring to enter the field of journalism. Therefore, he highlighted that if modern development and democracy are to be achieved, there should be a dedicated state mechanism to support the media.
"Therefore, similar to the budget allocation for all political parties, I will propose that the law be amended to allocate a percentage of the budget to support journalists and benefit various types of media," said Dr. Muizzu.
He assured that his government will give the opportunity for journalists to work independently.
The manifesto of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) also pledges a budgetary allocation for the media.