A special gathering held by the ruling Progressive Party Maldives (PPM) commences at the Carnival area on Friday.
Spotted in attending the event are the incumbent President and party candidate for the upcoming presidential elections Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom, his running mate, high ranking members within the government and the party itself and supporters of PPM and President Yameen.
PPM had earlier declared that President Yameen is slated to reveal his new aspirations and pledges for the country during Friday's gathering.
President Yameen: We have paid USD 320 Million to re-acquire the airport. We took the loan, and we will continue to pay it.
President Yameen: At the time, the party offering support to President Waheed was PPM. That is why President Waheed also decided there was no other way than to take back the airport.
President Yameen: The government received MVR 400,000 on the day the contract with GMR was signed. Thasmeen also said that he didn’t agree with taking back the airport.
President Yameen: Qasim Ibrahim does not wish for the airport to be taken back. He said that if it causes such massive loss, he is not in agreement.
President Yameen: In selling the airport, the government earned only MVR 15 Million. This is a company that earns MVR 150 - 200 Million.
President Yameen: Statistics show that in 2010, number of European passengers were at 5 lakhs. Today, the numbers are at 26.
President Yameen: When we got the airport, all the economic and business exchanges had to be provided to GMR. Permission was given to adjust fuel prices. Fuel prices were immediately increased by 46 percent. In this region Maldives became the most expensive jet fuel seller.
President Yameen: When the airport was sold, those renting plots in thee area, were not compensated. They did not ratify the bill subsequently proposed at the Parliment by the President. That is a massive failure.
President Yameen: At the time the airport was a company generating MVR 200 million per month in profits. It is the nations second biggest company. During the MDP-led government, when the airport was sold for 25 years, and then 10 years, there was no ruling strength.
President Yameen: One must not expect each government to follow the same actions. Now we hear of targetted sanctions upon us. They may implement sanctions. We feel sadness and fear because of it. However, if we wallow in our disappointments, we may lose sight of our mission. There is worry concerning these rumours. Yet I would advise you not to let it upset you. This is a show by foreign powers attempting to manipulate our electoral rights.
President Yameen: Even as such a rule ends, the international community lies close, monitoring. Currently, we face threats of sanctions. However, I beseech you for more time.
President Yameen: We must end the existing rule of governance being centred within the 'four walls' of Male'.
President Yameen: Foreign countries also need to consider us. It is not good practice to simply and swiftly call an end to matters.
President Yameen: With sincerity, may I receive votes from each person here.
President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom addresses the meeting.
It is announced that former Parliamentary Member for the Feydhoo constituency Fahumy has formally signed his allegiance to PPM.
Abdul Raheem: God-willing, September 23rd will be a happy day.
Abdul Raheem: Ibu did not answer the questions President Yameen posed to him on the day the president recieved his ticket for presidential candidacy. Hence, I'd advise him (Ibu) to forfeit while he still has time. Ibrahim Mohamed Solih is a puppet. Only (Former President) Mohamed Nasheed has even the courage to request/sit for a meeting.
Abdul Raheem: No matter what people must not listen to Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and his running mate Faisal. Wasn't it during an MDP-led government that religion was disrespected. That brought 'idols' into the country.
Abdul Raheem: The actual theft took place within the MDP-led government. Companies were sold. The airport was sold. Ibrahim Mohamed Solih (Ibu) must answer for all the money spent by the former MDP government.
Abdul Raheem: This is the 21 century and we must make our choice with courage and confidence.
Abdul Raheem: On September third we are going to make a national sacrifice for the sake of independence, our religion and the future. It is not a choice between Ibu and President Yameen. It is choosing between what religion we will follow and whether we will have independence in the country.
Abdul Raheem claimed that the election and voting has been already done and decided. While about 47000 people are eligible to vote, more than 30,000 people are here in this gathering.
Vice President of PPM AbdulRaheem addresses the meeting.
Dr. Shaheem: All Islamic scholars, barring a few, all stand on this side. They all stand on our side.
Dr. Shaheem: The man possessing the vision and philosophy to lead this country towards progress is President Yameen. Maldives needs a courageous, nationalistic leader. President Yameen is the man embodying these characteristics.
Dr. Shaheem: I will serve as a loving Vice President to President Yameen I will remain faithful to him.
Dr. Shaheem: Should President Yameen win the upcoming presidential elections, I pledge that we will bring unity to our country.
Dr. Shaheem: This decision targets the future of Maldives. If voting for President Yameen, the belief lies in religion and progress. If voting for the opposition the belief is in war and strife.
Dr Shaheem: I did not accept the position of running mate in jest. I did so to preserve our religion. President Yameen has never acted to defy our religion. Therefore, we do not have to applaud those who have defied our religion any longer.
Running-mate Dr. Shaheem addresses the meeting: (To the opposition) No other has formed a coalition amongst hostile parties. This coalition will split up the soonest.