President Waheed inaugurates Thaa Atoll, Dhaalu Atoll road developments

President Dr Mohamed Waheed yesterday (August 5) inaugurated two separate road development projects on the islands of Vilufushi in Thaa Atoll and Kudahuvadhoo in Dhaalu Atoll.

Speaking on Vilufushi, Dr Waheed said the projects were part of a nationwide commitment undertaken by his administration to build roads over the last two years. Nine roads were expected to be built in Vilufushi alone, according to the President’s Office website.

President Waheed added that with Vilufushi being one of the islands most severely impacted in the Maldives during the 2004 Asian Tsunami, a greater number of services still needed to be provided to the local population living there.

According to the President’s Office, Dr Waheed also shared specifics of government development plans for the island.

The president’s campaigning has recently come under criticism from rivals standing against him in the upcoming election.

The Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) – part of his current coalition government – has accused Dr Waheed of using state resources to campaign for his own Gaumee Ihthihad Party (GIP) ahead of the upcoming presidential election scheduled for September 7.

PPM Presidential candidate MP Abdulla Yameen back in May said he understood “concerns” raised by MDP candidate Mohamed Nasheed regarding President Waheed’s use of state resources for campaigning.

“That is, the way [the government] is doing things, there are problems over whether we could reach free and fair elections. The Auditor General and ACC [Anti-Corruption Commission] have taken note of this,” he said at the time.

The PPM has nonetheless pledged to continue supporting President Waheed’s government up until September’s election, despite concerns about the decision to dismiss former Home Minister Dr Mohamed Jameel Ahmed after he decided to stand as MP Yameen’s running mate.