'Surprising that PPM contests in council elections': Nasheed

Speaker of the Parliament and former President of the Maldives Mohamed Nasheed has said he was astonished that the opposing Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) was contesting in local council elections.

Candidates from PPM and the main-ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) are contesting in the by-election being held to elect a President to Lh. Kurendhoo Council. Nasheed made the statement at a rally held in Kurendhoo on Friday night to garner support for the MDP candidate.

Speaking at the rally, Nasheed said PPM and their leader, former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom's vision for the atolls was to 'erase' islands and bring those in the atolls to the Greater Male' Region. There is no reason to support and vote for such ideologies, and it is astonishing that a party that entertains such visions are putting forth candidates for council elections, said Nasheed.

The former President said MDP has a vision for the atolls, especially the Lhaviyani atoll. In this regard, MDP hopes to link Naifaru and Hinnavaru, and if the project is successful, it will bring prosperity and development to the entire atoll, he said. He added that it is wiser to link islands where possible instead of reclaiming land,

'Their [President Yameen and PPM]'s vision is to bring everyone in the Maldives to near Male'. The peoples' Democratic Party [MDP] has a special vision for Faadhippolhu [Lhaviyani] atoll. That is, to link Naifaru and Hinnavaru. From Naifaru to Madivaru to Felivaru to Gaa'ehfaru to Hinnavaru. To enable over 25,000 people to live in this atoll, between this distance. In this atoll, and all islands, land plots must be issued, especially to the people of Kurendhoo, even if it is from Naifaru, Hinnavaru, or Felivaru. I do not believe any wise councils, be it the Hinnavaru Council, Naifaru Council, or the Faadhippolhu Atoll Council, would be against such a project or idea,' said Nasheed.