President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom stated Tuesday that the pledges made by the opposition coalition's presidential candidate, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih (Ibu), are a repetition of the pledges and ongoing projects of ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and the current government.
He made the remark speaking at Madaveli, Gaafu Dhaal, during his ongoing official trip to the southern atoll. His visit to Madaveli celebrated the successful completion of a new harbour on the island, as well as the end of the program organized in efforts to protect its beaches.
During his speech, President Yameen assentingly stated the redundancy of the pledges made by the opposition coalition. Taking the pledge made by Ibu to build better harbours in the islands that he visited during his campaign trail as an example, Yameen highlighted the irony that Ibu's party docked at to the island by utilizing the harbour built by the current government.
Additionally, President Yameen criticized Ibu for reiterating already undergoing projects as 'new pledges'. Mentioning another example, he highlighted Ibu's vow to build a better sewerage system in the island of Veymandoo, Thaa Atoll, when in fact, the sewerage project of Veymandoo is a part of the MVR30 million project already being carried out by the government.
The president went on to suggest that the reason for the "empty pledges" made by the opposition coalition might be due to the possibility of a shortage of unattended problems left in the Maldives. Adding to the speech, the president also indicated repetition and inconsistencies in the pledges made by Ibu. Another issue he highlighted was the pledge to provide solutions to the Maldives' housing problem, stating that the current government has already undertaken the issue of housing.
Highlights of President Yameen's speech:
- There have not been any notable development brought to the island of Madaveli by the previous Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) government. The current administration already recognizes projects tallying up to MVR139 million within the past five years of ruling.
- The projects focused on the protection of harbours and beaches are now being brought to completion. The addition of the development of a sewerage system will tally the total budget for the development of Madaveli to MVR 150 million.
- The islands of Madaveli and Hoan'dehdhoo have been bridged with a causeway to ensure transportation convenience for the people of both the islands.
- In the 2013 elections, 70 percent of the voting population of Madaveli was won by the ruling party. Yameen expressed hopes to accomplish a feat of securing 90 percent from Madaveli in the upcoming elections.
- The budget to develop the harbour of Hoan'dehdhoo is already finalized, as well as the budget to establish and expand the island's sewerage system.
- The atoll will experience an increase in the number of tourist beds.
- The campaign approach of the opposition coalition is ineffective. Development will be further ensured only by reinforcing state-owned companies like State Trading Organisation (STO) and Maldives Transport and Contracting Company (MTCC), and undertaking more developmental projects via the companies.
- Finding required solutions to development problems is not rocket science. The current government has even found solutions to the waste management problems faced by many islands.
The president also highlighted the MDP government's ineffectiveness in developing the country, adding that the opposition party only has the interest of stripping away the people's rights and ruling with an iron fist.
He also warned the people of Maldives about the many acts of terrorism committed by the opposition party, adding that all of these acts were brought to a halt and managed by the current government.