Minister of Housing and Infrastructur Dr. Mohamed Muizzu announced that he will contest in the parliamentary elections slated for March 2019.
According to an interview given to local media Mihaaru, the minister stated that he still wished to serve the people and the government. He noted that his late father, Sheikh Hussain Abdul Rahman, had spent a significant amount of time serving the state, and that he drew motivation from his father.
Dr. Muizzu has spent roughly six years as a minister.
"[I will be] devoted to serving the nation. There is no intention to step away from the political arena. I will go forward with any opportunity I get."
Following the inauguration of President-Elect Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on November 17, outgoing President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and their followers will become the opposition.
Dr. Muizzu highlighted that serving as an opposition party will be a new experience for him.
"The best avenue to serve the people as the opposition is through the parliament. My desire is to be a parliamentarian, to run for the next term," said the minister.
Dr. Muizzu is yet to disclose the constituency for which he will contest, further adding that a decision will be taken after discussions with PPM.
Dr. Muizzu left Maldives Development Alliance (MDA) and joined ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) last September, in order to work closely with President Yameen.
He was provided the opportunity to sit in the Cabinet of President Yameen with an offer extended to him by a slot granted by then ruling coalition partner MDA. Previously, during Dr. Mohamed Waheed's presidency, Dr. Muizzu served in his first governmental position under a slot granted to Adhaalath Party (AP) as the Minister of Housing.
During his tenure as the Housing Minister, Dr. Muizzu has been condemned for allegedly allocating land plots unfairly from Phase two of reclaimed suburb Hulhumale'.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has ordered the ministry to halt the ongoing social housing 'Hiyaa Project' since the graft watchdog is currently probing a number of complaints submitted regarding the project.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also recently fined the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure over the development of the ring roads in capital Male’ City and Fuvahmulah.
The ministry was fined MVR 191,250, under the watch of Dr. Muizzu, for the illegal uprooting of trees in order to create parking spaces in Male’. The trees were uprooted without authorization and went against regulations, said the agency.
EPA also levied a fine of MVR 50,000 over the ministry having illegally extracted groundwater from an area near Ameenee Magu, Male’.
In September, residents broke up a causeway linking the agricultural island of Hoadedhdhoo and Madaveli in Gaafu Dhaal Atoll. “The EIA report states that the fields will face devastation. The government was aware of this information before its [the causeway] construction,” said a government official who wished to remain anonymous.