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MP Ibu vows to continue mega projects, repeal foreign land ownership amendment

Fathmath Shaahunaz
03 August 2018, MVT 17:04
Hinnavaru MP Ibrahim "Ibu" Mohamed Solih, the presidential candidate from the opposition coalition, pictured during his campaign trips to the atolls. PHOTO/MDP
Fathmath Shaahunaz
03 August 2018, MVT 17:04

The opposition coalition's presidential candidate, Hinnavaru MP Ibrahim "Ibu" Mohamed Solih, has declared that should he succeed in the upcoming election, his government would not halt any lawful development projects currently ongoing in the Maldives.

MP Ibu made the remark during the "Get to Know Ibu" panel discussion on Thursday night, which was organised by main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)'s Youth Wing.

Responding to one of the questions, Ibu stated that national development was also an objective of the opposition. He assured that an opposition government would always welcome foreign investors, and vowed there would be no obstructions to any investments undertaken within the legal framework of the Maldives.

"A contract made under one government would not be annulled over an administration change, as long as the agreement was legitimate," said Ibu as he proclaimed that the ongoing mega projects would proceed in his regime.

"Will repeal foreign land ownership amendment"

Responding to another inquiry, MP Ibu revealed that his administration would repeal the amendment made to the Constitution in 2015, which allows foreign entities to own land in Maldives.

Regarding the amendment which was submitted to the parliament by ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM)'s parliamentary group leader and Villimale MP Ahmed Nihan, Ibu declared that foreign land ownership in Maldives was unacceptable.

MP Ibu stated that MDP had issued a free line whip prior to the parliament vote on that bill. Acknowledging that some MPs of MDP had also voted in favour of the prickly amendment, Ibu declared that he will take responsibility as the party's parliamentary group leader.

During the panel discussion, the opposition candidate went on to criticise the current administration, stating that the national debt had been at MVR 25 billion when President Abdulla Yameen came to power, but was now estimated to reach MVR 50 billion by the end of this year. Ibu claimed that the debt increased due to the government taking commercial loans to finance mega projects, further alleging that the expenditures of the projects were higher than should be.

He vowed that his government would ensure security of foreign investments to maintain investors' trust, and to bring foreign direct investments to the country. Ibu also announced that he would expand the nation's tax base in order to repay the debts.

Shedding further light on the promised opposition regime, Ibu further assured that the government would function as per the agreement of all four opposition coalition leaders, and not merely the wishes of MDP.

"Before us is the Constitution. We will proceed with accordance to our agreement, to the Constitution," he said, adding that details of the coalition's agreement would be divulged in the future.

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