With additional reporting by Ahmed Naish and Ismail Humaam Hamid
The Progressive Party of Maldives will rebuild a devastated nation through job opportunities for the youth and a crackdown on violent crime, said President Abdulla Yameen while celebrating one year in office.
Yameen urged young people to take advantage of the opportunities that would be created by growing tourism and large scale foreign-funded infrastructure projects, while pledging to bring peace and security to the nation.
“I want to say tonight as well in your presence, this government will have no mercy at all for those who slaughter Maldivian citizens with no mercy,” said Yameen at the ‘Successful 365 Days’ event held in Male’ this evening.
He pledged to implement the death penalty – reintroduced under his government, for the sake of human rights and dignity.
“Saving the Maldives from these big atrocities is the biggest aim of this government,” he said, stating that Maldivians by nature sought peace and stability.
Yameen said that proposed changes to legislation would remove violent crime which has blighted the country in recent months, suggesting the framers of the 2008 constitution wanted to create unrest and anarchy.
An estimated 3000 people attended the event at the carnival ground area to hear cabinet members and party colleagues detail the achievements of President Yameen’s anniversary.
While Islamic Minister Dr Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed said Yameen had united the nation, Speaker of the People’s Majlis Abdulla Maseeh Mohamed launched a book detailing the administration’s accomplishments.
Speaking earlier in the evening President’s Office Undersecretary Dr Hussain Faiz listed the achievements of the cabinet’s social council, which he said included a doctor for each island, opening 46 pharmacies, and introducing sea ambulance services in six atolls.
Faiz also noted that the government had introduced the unlimited Aasandha healthcare scheme for persons with chronic illnesses, as well as raising the old age pension to MVR5000.
Pledges to provide unlimited healthcare to all citizens as well as a doctor for every family were two of the administration’s aims for an ambitious 100 day programme twelve months ago, while nationwide sea ambulances had been promised within the first year.
Discussing the government’s record on development and the economy, Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture Dr Mohamed Shainee noted that the country’s dollar shortage had been alleviated, while MVR68 million worth of loans were issued.
Shainee claimed that, in addition to 1,700 new businesses being registered, and new resorts being put up for bidding, 19 foreign investors had registered a commitment of investing over US$600 million.
The government has introduced legislation for special economic zones – with a minimum investment of US$150 million – in an attempt to draw in new developers, though the only significant agreement signed as yet has been the Chinese deal to begin redevelopment of Ibrahim Nasir International Airport.
The fisheries minister suggested that President Yameen’s background as an economist had contributed to the administration achieving the equivalent of six year’s work in one.
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