The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) claimed at its congress last weekend that 40 percent of the party’s manifesto had been implemented since the party took office in 2008.
MDP spokesperson Ahmed Haleem told Minivan News that the congress was “very successful”, with launch of the local council election campaign representing “major progress” towards the upcoming local council elections.
During the congress the MDP launched a “Youth Wing’’ and a ‘’Womens’ Spirit Wing’’, which Minivan News understands intends to encourage “positive discrimination” towards involving women in politics.
Haleem said more than 1000 delegates took part in the congress including observers.
“All delegates were selected through primaries, unlike how it is done in other political parties in the country,’’ he said. “Other parties just call their friends to be delegates or hold a little primary at the event.”
Speaking at the Congress, President Mohamed Nasheed outlined dates for the construction of housing, claiming he would lay the foundation for flats in Male’ on November 10, the foundation for 1000 flats in Hulhumale on November 11, and 500 flats in the atolls.
A further 1000 flats would be built with the assistance of Korean aid, he said.
He also noted that projects such as land reclamation, harbour development and sewerage works were not included in the manifesto, but were also being implemented. Harbour developments had been completed in 27 islands since the party took office, Nasheed said, while further harbour developments were currently occuring at 11 islands. Projects would commence in Hoarafushi, Ihavandhoo and Dhiffushi in November, he said.
Speaking on corruption, Nasheed noted that years of accumulated corruption could not be dismissed in two years. But, he said, “a good governance system without torture is now being created in the Maldives. The government has done away with revenge.”
MDP’s election manifesto consists of five core pledges: ‘nationwide transport’, ‘affordable living costs’, ‘affordable housing’, ‘affordable quality healthcare’, and the ‘prevention of narcotics abuse and trafficking’.
Criticising the the government’s achievements, opposition Dhivehi Rayithunge Party (DRP) MP Ahmed Mahlouf claimed that the 40 percent implementation of the pledges announced at the congress “was more like five percent.”
“I think it’s very clearly not true,” he said. “What we saw at the MDP Congress was some deleagates criticising the President for giving dates for the launch of projects because they knew it was going to make it difficult for them to campaign.”
Mahlouf noted that while the number of poor registered in Male’ in 2008 was 2000, “now it has increased to 9000.”
“Nasheed also promised to bring down the price of goods – but now it costs Rf 300 for a kilogram of chilli. I was shocked.”
Mahlouf further claimed that the DRP had attempted “to help the MDP implement its manifesto by ensuring there was a free state media, run by a board determined by parliament, but they were against it.”
Mahlouf also noted that as for the promise to tackle corruption, “Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index now ranks the country next to Zimbabwe.”
The government contends the index reflects a growing awareness that corruption is a problem.
Image: Maurouf Khaleel