Mahlouf plots presidential “referendum” as stats show living cost rise

Official statistics supplied by the Department of National Planning have indicated a 4.42 percent increase in the rate of inflation last month compared to March 2011, as one opposition MP plans a referendum on President Mohamed Nasheed’s leadership over the dissatisfaction with living costs.

The new figures indicate increased prices for food and drink products last month, particularly for fish, on the basis of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) when compared to 2011 and April 2010.

The release of the statistics comes as MP Ahmed Mahlouf from the Z-DRP party, a spin-off of the main opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP), claimed to be ready to forward a resolution to parliament this week calling for a referendum to test public support for the current president and his handling of the economy.

Figures such as the CPI are therefore an important issue following seven consecutive nights of protests in the streets of Male’, with demonstrators announcing they were now willing to negotiate with the government.

Protest organisers have claimed the demonstrations were a non-partisan “youth movement” in response to rising living costs on the back of government attempts to effectively devalue the rufyiya.

Aside from criticising the political opposition for politicising the demonstrations in the media for their own political gain, the country’s financial authorities last week claimed that to be providing some economic support to try and stabilise prices it said that while increasing, varied significantly between different stores.

According to the latest planning department stats, the cost of food and beverages when including fish was up by 20.35 percent during April 2011 compared to the same period the previous year. These costs were also up by 10.65 percent on the same terms compared to March 2011.

When excluding the price of fish, the average cost of food and drinks last month was up by 13.07 percent compared to over the same period of time last year. On the same terms, the statistics found that food and beverage costs last month rose by 4.44 percent compared to March 2011.

When comparing the overall change in CPI between April 2011 and April 2010, increases in costs were recorded across the board with the exception of recreation and culture, which was down by 3.11 percent.

As of late month, healthcare was up by 6.25 percent, transportation was up by 8.96 percent, education was up by 16.89 percent and fish was up by 58.32 percent when compared over the same period the previous year.

Between March to April this year, the statistics showed that the costs of healthcare were up by 1.21 percent, transport was up by 6.56 percent and fish prices were up 42.07 percent. The full statistics can be found here.

Halt to protests

In light of protests last week over rising costs, DRP MP Ahmed Mahlouf told Minivan News today that the party would be postponing any further demonstrations relating until next Friday after requests from police.

In the meantime, he claimed that young people who had initially organised the protests were negotiation with members of the government, a meeting that had been organised through the police to try and find some possible compromises on costs.

“The meetings were scheduled to take place with the government at 12:00pm today though I have not been informed yet of their progress. I imagine that they [the protest organisers] would be demanding some changes to government policy,” he said. “The police have asked us to stop the protests and as some of their members supported the march, we have wanted to keep good relations with them.”

Mahlouf added that he believed there had been a reluctance among organisers to stop the protests as the government were failing to address concerns about costs and “not believing” the financial realities Maldivians were facing.

However, amidst intense media scrutiny, the opposition MP said he believed the protesters had succeeded in their aims to attempt to change government policy on the economy.

However, ahead of the next scheduled protest on Friday, Mahlouf claimed he plans to forward a parliamentary motion for a referendum on whether President Nasheed had sufficient support from the public to enact his planned reforms.

Foreign Minister Ahmed Naseem last week criticised opposition parties like the DRP for “misleading” international media about the nature of the protests and failing to sit down and present their own alternatives for financial reforms in the country.

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20 thoughts on “Mahlouf plots presidential “referendum” as stats show living cost rise”

  1. "In the meantime, he claimed that young people who had initially organised the protests were negotiation with members of the government..."

    Still lying and showing no shame eh? The so-called young leader negotiating with the government is a leading PA activitst! And he is demanding changes to government policy. If they want to change government policy, first PA has got to win a general election and take charge of the country!

    "However, ahead of the next scheduled protest on Friday, Mahlouf claimed he plans to forward a parliamentary motion ..."

    I dare him to put forward a motion to reduce MPs salaries and allowances which are a huge burden on public finances. I am 100% sure he will not do that. I'm also quite sure what he's going to propose will hurt the Maldivian economy more in the longer run.

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  2. Who the hell is this guy Mahloof? Is he such a power house on economy? The problem with this man is that behind his facade as a person genuinely concerned about the economy of the country, he just wants to be a slave to his master Maumoon. And Maumoon is hell bent on bringing down the government.

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  3. This SOB has the nerve to talk about inflation.

    The events that led to this situation are

    1) Auditor General had to have a 100K salary.
    2) MP's voted to increase their salary multiple times.
    3) Civil servants just could not resist making a helluva noise. They got it increased.
    4) Police, MNDF just demanded what they saw fit.
    5) Other private entities, were practically forced to do so.

    The result is what you see now.

    The failure is purely MPs actions.

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  4. Peace! Is the solution… How? By empowering, the desenfreshied factions of the community. I believe we need community mindset overhaul. Starting from personal responsibilities, just analysis of the environment and changes across the globe.
    Educate the people with Truth. Educate people not to follow falsehood…
    Perhaps this country as well as the whole globe needs to understand deceptive games only leads to more deceptions, corruptions, etc leading to complicated scenarios ...the “trigger” (for protests) sometimes could be a well indented effort, as well as a bad policy ..., The scene created on the street does not have much difference, accept what lies in the hearts and minds of people gathered out of their own wishes or out of an engineered fear or speculation. There's just no end to this cycle unless we resort to the best practices on our "way of life"... and to know the best, I advice myself all brothers and sisters to read and understand the natural guidance that we all are bless with out of mercy, yet kept at shelves covered in hopes of superstitious effects. That is wrong. That is the one of the biggest misconception in our people's mind.
    Change the mindset, change (if good intended) can effect positively if we start it from our own self.

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  5. The so called youth must also be concerned about the crime rate and weakening of our social fabric. Thus why is the "youths" not having such protest when our elderly women are raped, our children are abused and youths are slaughtered while the rest is engaged in gang crimes and drugs. This is a big dilemma for me to understand. Why are the Youths not conducting demonstration to stop this? Is it only prices of food that is a concerned for them or is it a political discourse?

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  6. In April 2005 the 1US$ was worth 40 Thai Baht, today it is 30 Thai Bahts to the dollar. The same year the Malaysian Ringgit was worth 3.8RM to the dollar, today the dollar has lost its value and 3RM can buy a dollar.

    This info can be found at the below link

    http://www.x-convert.com

    In general the decline of the dollar can be seen in the below link to an aptly titled article, "Who's afraid of the decline of the greenback?"

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2011/05/dollar

    On assumption that supporters of Mahlouf are as stupid/misinformed as he is, I'd like to explain- If more dollars are needed to buy foreign currencies, then more dollars are needed to buy foreign goods which we import, thus a detrimental effect on consumer prices here in Maldives.

    I suppose we should organize protests throughout the world now.

    Below here is a link about Vietnam, where the powers that be lived a lie for too long.

    http://www.economist.com/node/18651919

    Why can't Mahlouf realize we do have a referendum in 2013? How can any govt sell to the public any sort of austerity measures, if this is the maturity displayed by opposition politicians?

    Why can't Mahlouf do the smart thing and declare through a parliamentary motion that President Nasheed is in fact the re -incarnation of President Maumoon? This way he and his DRP friends will have no qualms about working with the President. This motion makes better sense and will be more helpful for the country.

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  7. To think that the media and others have accepted a party called Z-DRP is insane. Pray tell me when was this party registered?

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  8. @Suvadheeb

    "The so-called young leader negotiating with the government is a leading PA activist!"

    Not only is he a PA activist, he is brilliant at presenting his case- during the press conference today, he said of the "young people"-

    "Vazzefa nethifa thibi zuvaanuna kureega neyngey igthisodhee massala tha ulhey kan. Eybeyfulhun mama bappa dhey 20rf nuvatha 50rf in sai coffe boi hadhaalanee. Mihaaru mamma kairi coffe boan dhaan 50rf deyshey buneema mamma bunee miharu evearaka nethey, kirudhalhuge agakee meehye.... ehen veema eybeyfulhun maguthaka nkunan majubooru vee."

    I'm definitely joining the muzahara this Friday!

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  9. So what peasant..who says the youth protesting should not belong to any party?..of course its a protest against government policies so the opposition would step up to that role....Pesant what you say doesn't make any sense....You have to differentiate things that are beyond our powers from policies that we make...The depreciation of the dollar is beyond us..In April 2005 40 baht=1 dollars..Now the rate is 30 baht= 1 dollars...This is part bcs of depreciation of US due to unnecessary wars they are fighting and due to the economic policies of the Thai government..Thai government has announced that they will not allow the baht to strengthen against the dollar less that 30 baht /dollars bcs Thai economy is very much export oriented, the more baht strengthens the more the more their economy hurts...So when we depreciate the rufiya and baht strengthen hows on earth does that have a favorable effect on our consumer goods prices?.....Just prove me wrong...Maldives is very different from Vietnam, its an export oriented economy and remnants of communist past and high levels of government corruption is widespread.....Maldivian economy is very small..The policies should be tailor made to our economy....Once the MDP government is voted out and their stupid economic policies are the stopped the economy rebound....wasting government money on useless projects like reclamation of Gulheefalhu in 24 hours for what????...is a Tsunami on the horizon, when the same area can be reclaimed for fraction of that cost in 3 months...Get a life peasant and admit that this government is destroying our country.

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  10. Blaming the President alone for the recent price hikes is as stupid as blaming him for the weather. Take a wander around our retailers and you will see a veritable rainbow of increases. Do you think the President wanders around all day asking various shops to raise by different values?

    Of course there are certain shopkeepers who rub their hands together gleefully at yet another excuse to rip off the general public. They work only for themselves, taking as much of out hard earned cadh as they can get away with.

    Just as the election gives us mere mortals a once in five year chance to get it as wrong as we can, wealdp have a choice where we spend our money.

    Let's become smarter, quit moaning and stop buying our food and other purchases in the rip off shops. We all know who they are, by ignoring their greed and shopping elsewhere, we will force them to lower their prices or go out of business.
    Once we have mastered this technique, together as a nation, we can start on the politicians, same problem same solution.

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  11. A generation of youth was lost due to Gayyoom's policies on housing,economy and social harmony. Now it will be a major problem to any leader managing this country. Majority of these youths don't have clear vision and are lost into a world of narcotics. The older generation are not well educated to understand the world we live today. If miraculously Nasheed could save this nation of 350,000 people its a great achievement to be written in history books. The situation in Maldives is ills from long dictatorship.

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  12. @Nars -

    "So what peasant..who says the youth protesting should not belong to any party?"

    Er, it's the "youth" whose leader is an activist of PA, claiming to represent "zuvaanun". He is lying that he is not politically motivated.

    My comment about currencies was about pointing out that external influences have a bigger effect on consumer prices, therefore a protest to "demand" low prices is simplistic and counter productive at best or insane and idiotic at worst.

    You seem like the guy who waits his turn to say something rather than reading and trying to discern the message before responding.

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  13. @zuvaanun and mahloof.
    Why dont you explain and let us know some of your solutions instead of blabbering about the problems we all know.

    Did you a55h013s know that your dear leader and his cronies stole so much from you and me and you are still licking his ass?

    The money has been laundered...one small example would be the many apartments abdullah shahid has in singapore (i know of a particular place near newton) which would cost a hefty million dollars certainly.

    You are just hired to protect criminals and you will continue these criminals propaganda cos you will be benefiting from it some way or another.

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  14. @Nars

    "Once the MDP government is voted out and their stupid economic policies are the stopped the economy rebound….wasting government money on useless projects like reclamation of Gulheefalhu in 24 hours for what..."

    Time for you to wake up! Gulheefalhu is funded by private investors! Do you understand the difference there?

    Well, we have yet to hear about the "smart" economic policies that will replace the "stupid" ones of the MDP. Care to tell us?

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  15. Mahloof "plots"? wow, he is gonna take over the world too? mahlouf, you dawg!!!

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  16. “Vazzefa nethifa thibi zuvaanuna kureega neyngey igthisodhee massala tha ulhey kan. Eybeyfulhun mama bappa dhey 20rf nuvatha 50rf in sai coffe boi hadhaalanee. Mihaaru mamma kairi coffe boan dhaan 50rf deyshey buneema mamma bunee miharu evearaka nethey, kirudhalhuge agakee meehye…. ehen veema eybeyfulhun maguthaka nkunan majubooru vee.”

    Shame, that "ebeyfulhun ge mamma and bappa" never taught them how to earn a proper living instead of asking for handouts. Guess most of the "ebeyfulhun" left school without much of an education and are now spending the best years of their life looking for cheap coffees and petrol...

    It will soon be too late when "ebeyfulhun" find that they have wasted their life.

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