Saturday’s election an opportunity to reverse damage of February 7, says Nasheed

The long-awaited president election on November 9 is an opportunity to “regain the development lost on February 7, 2012,” former President Mohamed Nasheed said in his final campaign message ahead of tomorrow’s presidential polls.

“Through the right to vote we will secure the right to water and sanitation, housing, transport, and education,” the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) presidential candidate said. “Our second term will also bring contentment to the Maldivian people.”

The MDP’s “costed and budgeted” manifesto was devised to bring about the “proud citizen” who can stand tall, provide for his family through honest work and be free from anxiety over unaffordable healthcare, he said.

“I am asking very sincerely for your vote on the November 9 election,” Nasheed said.

“The election November 9 is the final result of the coup perpetrators’ devious plot to undermine the constitution and take over the government,” he said.

“Today we are able to have this election as a consequence of the efforts of many Maldivian citizens in defence of our future.”

Nasheed expressed particular gratitude to the staff of the Elections Commission.

The economy has suffered the consequences of annulling and delaying the presidential election while relations with foreign partners have deteriorated to unprecedented levels, he continued.

Establishing strong ties with the outside world does not amount to “forgoing our nationhood,” Nasheed contended, adding that Maldivian nationhood in a globalised world would be “based on Islam, the Dhivehi language, culture and human rights.”

Foreign ambassadors and diplomats were coming to the Maldives more than ever before to “save the Maldivian people from the impoverishment we could face if there is no elected government,” he said.

The Maldives could not afford to be an “isolated nation” as foreign assistance was required for infrastructure development, higher education opportunities, and medical treatment.

Development could not be secured by “oppressing, suppressing and intimidating the people,” he said.

State of the economy

The MDP meanwhile issued a press statement today calling on the Auditor General to conduct an audit to assess the state of the government’s finances.

The party contended that the Finance Ministry has accumulated domestic debt in violation of the Public Finance Act while the Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA) printed money to finance the government’s deficit spending.

Compared to 2012, the party noted that loans or credit sought from the domestic market increased 30 percent this year.

The MMA governor revealed to parliament’s Finance Committee recently that the government owed MVR1.5 billion to the central bank, MVR1.5 billion to the State Trading Organisation (STO) and “close to a billion to other parties that release credit to the government,” the statement observed.

MMA Governor Dr Fazeel Najeeb had said that the sums were not included in the 2013 budget while the 2014 budget had no allocations for repayment, the MDP noted.

The value of the rufiya has fallen as a result of printing MVR1.5 billion to finance government expenditures, the party argued, noting that the MDP government ceased deficit monetisation in August 2009 through an agency agreement between the Finance Ministry and MMA.

Under the circumstances, the statement continued, offering a lump sum payment to ministers was “shameful.”

Islam and sovereignty

Meanwhile, speaking at the final campaign rally of the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) last night, the party’s candidate Abdulla Yameen said it was “obligatory” upon all Maldivians to vote for him for the sake of Islam and the nation.

Yameen appealed to members of Adhaalath Party, Jumhooree Party and the Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party to vote for him.

The PPM’s efforts during the three year MDP government showed that it was the only party that worked on behalf of the religion and the nation, Yameen said.

People should not complain or blame political leaders if they did not perform the duty of voting for the PPM candidate on Saturday, the half-brother of former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom said.

While the Maldives is not a rich country, Yameen said it could be made a prosperous nation under the stewardship of a “trustworthy” president.

The PPM leadership was comprised of “capable, educated and sincere” people, he added.

The next leader would have to begin from “1000 feet under” as the national debt had soared such that a newborn was indebted by MVR180,000, Yameen said.

A PPM government would clear the budget deficit in its first two years and achieve a surplus in the third year, Yameen pledged.

Yameen said he could have “awarded projects any way I wanted” when he served in the cabinet and as the chairman of government-owned companies under the Gayoom administration, and could have become the richest man in the country.

“But, God willing, after a long public service, I am able to talk about the corruption of another person in front of the people at this podium today because, by the grace of God, I am free from [corruption],” he said.


7 thoughts on “Saturday’s election an opportunity to reverse damage of February 7, says Nasheed”

  1. Well, near two years have been lost. It'd take a lot of effort, time and money to repair the damage caused since Feb 7th 2012. I hope the new government will consider in priority:

    (1) Reform of the Supreme Court bench. Just throw away the stinking rubbish!

    (2) Reform the rest of the judicial system starting from the JSC.

    (3) Amend the Constitution and close all the gaping holes so far discovered, before the next parliamentary elections.

    (4) Economic reform on a massive scale.

    (5) Reform of the police and the military to de-politicise them for good.

  2. ha ha ha! Yameen free from corruption! Does the guy have a different meaning for corruption?

  3. @ Aicha

    It does not help calling every one except your candidate corrupt. May be your candidate (who ever he is) is a PURE saint.

  4. I sincerely hope Anni learned a lot the last 2 years.

    He needs to clean judiciary as well his internal team too, as priority. Shelltox out cockroaches.

    Now is the time to set directions right for the country and move forward. No more bickering.

  5. @Praise to Maldives, Yameen is saying he is a pure saint, he was part of a government that ruled us for 30 years. Even today on twitter there are dozens and dozens of leaked invoices of his family, their spending it has to be seen to be believed.

    The amount of citizen's money they have spent on such stupid things as material for trousers or phone bills alone (Farish Maumoon phone bill to england cost us Mrf 37,024, Maumoon and his wife's phone bill in the same year while they were in london Mrf 45,063) it boggles the mind

    Not to mention the fact that after the coup, a government of which Yameen is part of, paid off Grant Thornton a couple of millions to stop the investigation of the oil for money scandal that Yameen was involved in.
    Why even JP Hassan Saeed has said they will investigate Yameen's 800 million dollar oil for money scandal if they come to power.

    So yes of all the three candidates he is the person who should most keep his mouth shut about Corruption. He probably had only three years free from corrupt deals and such and that was when Nasheed was in power.

  6. Only a person who is corrupt to the core will come out and declare himself as pure without shame, having done what he knows deep down is something he has to hide at any cost.

    A pure person does not need to declare himself as such. Everyone knows that. How foolish does he think we are? Fear, brutality, corruption of the soul - these are what a person like this has to offer. Not national pride or faith. We deserve better than this unbelievable shamelessness and deceit. We will not rest till we have what we truly deserve.


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