Who are you voting for in the 2018 presidential election?
Continued from The Battle of the Ballots Part I.
After a quick look at the presidential candidates and pledges from the last election in 2013, this second part of The Battle of the Ballots addresses the most important aspect - what can we expect, and what can we choose, for the future?
As the Maldives heads towards the most important event for the nation which is just around the corner, where the votes we cast on September 23 will echo on over the next five years, it is crucial for each and every Maldivian to make an educated, well-informed decision.
Bearing this in mind, The Edition brings it readers a collection of some of the key presidential pledges made by the ruling party and the opposition alliance.
The pledges herein are collated from the coverage within our media family, based on the campaign addresses of both parties throughout their extensive canvassing of the archipelago, and their manifestos and respective spokespeople.
As an archipelago, the sector of transportation has always posed one of the greatest conundrums for the Maldives. Domestic travel outside of one's immediate island is limited to the sea or air, with pros and cons to both ranging from financial aspects to other conveniences or lack thereof.
While transportation has come a long way over the past few decades, locals still face several challenges in intra- and inter-atoll travelling, particularly since many are still compelled to travel to Male for various resources and needs.
Health care is still a developing sector in the Maldives. While there are health care centres in inhabited islands and regional hospitals established across the country, the state-of-the-art health care facilities and modern resources are mostly concentrated in the capital region.
Thus, medical emergencies in islands outside of the Greater Male Region necessitate patients to be urgently transferred to Male.
Surpassing the fisheries industry which is considered the “lifeforce” of Maldives, tourism has long since become the economic backbone of the country.
It accounts for 28 percent of the nation’s GDP and over 60 percent of foreign exchange receipts, while a fifth of the employed are engaged in this industry - thus the Maldivian economy is heavily dependent on the flourishing success of tourism.
The economic sector of the Maldives is built mainly on two industries: tourism and fisheries, with most exports of Maldives being fish products. However the nation faces a growing fiscal deficit, and Maldives’ geographical makeup poses a disadvantage.
In this category, we explore both parties’ pledges on fisheries, agriculture and other economy-related trades.
Some of the most commonly raised issues by the youth of Maldives are the challenges faced in seeking employment and the lack of diversity in career paths. The youth also emphasise the need for state support in various fields to ensure youth development and empowerment.
As a small island nation, the task of defending the security and sovereignty of Maldives is in some ways, a precarious one. Internal need for security aside, a strong strategy is required to protect the country from external threats, including that which targets the protection of the special economic zone (SEZ) in addition to maintaining general peace and security.
To be continued in Part III, which will feature the remaining listings of pledges made for the 2018 elections by both factions.