The Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) has been campaigning across Shaviyani Atoll this week ahead of attempts to hold a “mega-rally” on the island of Funadhoo on Thursday (June 27).
PPM MP Ahmed Nihan has said that a delegation including party presidential candidate MP Abdullah Yameen and his running mate Dr Mohamed Jameel Ahmed had so far campaigned on six islands in the atoll as part of the week-long trip expected to conclude Friday (June 28).
He said that MP Yameen has been travelling door-to door to meet voters and discuss his plans for economic development should he be voted president during September’s election.
Nihan added that the PPM had pledged would to put a high priority on economic development in Shaviyani Atoll, which he said lacked a regional airport that had in turn limited the local population’s access to the capital and other population centres.
He said that the party was already seeking to negotiate with the government for new resort developments in the atoll to facilitate jobs and economic growth to aid local development.
Nihan said that Funadhoo has traditionally been seen as a stronghold in terms of support for PPM founder and former Maldives President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s former party, the Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) – now led by MP Ahmed Thasmeen Ali.
However, he claimed that during the visit, a large number of islanders had expressed support for Gayoom and the PPM, which he founded in 2011 after breaking away from the DRP.