Presidential candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih (Ibu) makes several pledges to the people of Thinadhoo, Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll on Friday night, including many highlighting fair practices for those in the fishing industry.
A large, well-attended gathering was held in Thinadhoo as part of his current campaign tour.
Addressing his supporters in Thinadhoo, Ibu pledged to make the island's Dr Abdul Samad Memorial Hospital, a tertiary establishment. He also pledged to establish a drug rehabilitation centre and detoxifying centre, noting that there are about 400 citizens on the island who require rehabilitation.
Ibu promised to pave way for the people of Thinadhoo to travel abroad directly from the island and import goods directly as well. According to Ibu, this has not yet been done due to negligence on the current governments' part.
Declaring the oppositions stand on supporting fisherman during this gathering Ibu revealed some of the coalition's plans to advance the country's fishing industry. He also promised to make creating a market demand and fair prices for fisherman's fish, one of the opposition's primary targets.
He elaborated on the situations faced by local fishermen, noting that those selling their catch at Gaafu Alifu Koodoo currently receive checks instead of cash returns. Ibu promised to solve this issue and to find means of facilitating direct trade between fisherman and international buyers.
In addition, Ibu vowed to install more scales and other mechanisms to weigh in the days catch for the fisherman.
Ibu promised to protect the seas of Maldives, noting that even in recent times, foreign vessels have been known to fish illegally from the exclusive economic zone of the country.
Moreover, Ibu pledged to eliminate the import duty for diesel and provide easy excess to fuels.
Concluding his speech, Ibu spoke about the varied and numerous difficulties faced by fishermen today. He stated that fishermen currently are unable to partake in various credit schemes which are readily available for seasoned employees working in other fields. In an opposition government, Ibu claims, the matter would be resolved, and pension schemed would be established for long-term seafarers.
As the date for the election draws closer, both of the presidential candidates, incumbent President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom and Ibrahim Mohamed Solih (Ibu), appear to be fully immersed in their respective campaigns, canvassing as many islands and atolls as possible.