President Abdulla Yameen has called on the Maldivian public to grant the ruling coalition a majority to fulfill its campaign pledges, and said the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) is seeking a parliamentary majority in order to oust the government.
Speaking at a campaign event for Gemanafushi candidate Jameel Usman held last night, Yameen said Majlis approval is essential for development projects and said the government cannot bring development without Majlis cooperation.
Former President Mohamed Nasheed, while campaigning on behalf of the MDP this weekend, denied that his party would seek to obstruct development should it win a majority in the house.
The ruling Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) and its allies the Jumhooree Party (JP) and the Maldives Development Alliance (MDA) are contesting the March parliamentary elections as a group, with 50 of the 85 seats allocated to the PPM, 28 to the JP and 8 to the MDA.
The former MP for Mulaku constituency, Yameen also launched a scathing criticism of the first democratically elected parliament, claiming the Maldivian public had lost confidence in the current Majlis.
Salaries and allowances of MPs do not match their work, he said and called on the public to elect courageous and educated individuals who are willing to work against corruption.
“Maldivian citizens do not want the People’s Majlis to be a place where people who have committed huge crimes or committed offenses against the law go to get immunity,” he said.
At a separate campaign event also held last night for Laamu Atoll Isdhoo candidate Ahmed Rasheed, former President Dr Mohamed Waheed requested that the public give the coalition a majority.
The public had elected Yameen to the presidency and must now grant the coalition a majority so that the government can fulfill its pledges, he said.
Meanwhile, former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom asked independents who are contesting Majlis elections to withdraw their names and support coalition candidates instead.
“A PPM member or any other party member must not run against a coalition candidate. If you do so, it will be very sad for us. That is because it will divide votes of those who hold the same ideology. If votes are divided, we will lose the seat,” he said.
Speaking at MP ‘Red Wave’ Ahmed Saleem’s campaign launch ceremony in Malé, Vice President Dr Mohamed Jameel Ahmed said the PPM candidates would bring peace and stability to the Maldives.
“Let us not provide an opportunity for those who call to take the law in our hands, for fear and citizens to be weakened every time there is a disagreement,” he said.
The current government had allocated MVR400 million to provide recreational facilities and vocational training for youth, he said.
The government will introduce unlimited health care under the Aasandha scheme on Monday to mark the PPM’s 100 days in government, Jameel promised. Unlimited Aasandha will end begging for financial aid for chronic illnesses, he said.
In Addu City, Defense Minister Mohamed Nazim inaugurated the campaign for the Hithadhoo Uthuru constituency, and pledged to establish a 100 bed hospital in the city.
“We will build a 100 bed hospital in this island, god willing, as a pledge by this government. This hospital will not go elsewhere,” he said noting the current 50-bed hospital is not sufficient to cater to Addu City’s population.
The PPM government will also establish water and sewerage systems in Addu City by the end of the year, he promised.