'No reason to re-elect President Solih'

There is no reason to give President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih a second term, Parliament Speaker and the main-ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) 's President Mohamed Nasheed has said.

Nasheed is vying for MDP's presidential ticket in MDP's presidential primary slated for January 28. He will go head to head against President Solih, who is seeking re-election.

Speaking at a campaign rally in Hulhumale' on Wednesday, Nasheed said today's circumstance makes evident that there is no reason to give President Solih a second term. He criticized the president for speaking about issuing land to the people right ahead of the election while the same land had existed for the past five years.

"All these past years, the Male' MPs have repeatedly been raising this complaint with the government. However, no policy has been implemented," Nasheed said.

Nasheed said the current government did not implement the Veshifahi Male' program, which Nasheed implemented during MDP's first government in 2008. He also described the offer of land to the people of Male' City as a bribe and said bribery is not acceptable to MDP.

Speaking on the upcoming presidential election, Nasheed said if President Solih did not believe MDP could win the election, no one should contest the election on an MDP ticket. It is believed that Nasheed's comments refer to President Solih stating that a coalition is necessary to win the election.

"In 2023, President Solih is saying we [MDP] cannot win the election. He said the same thing in the parliamentary elections," Nasheed said.

Nasheed further said the people want a government that would implement good policies. The people want to know what these policies are, he said, reiterating that the government gave a deaf ear to MDP's proposals to the government and did not implement them.

One of the most important policies proposed by the MDP in 2018 was to restructure the public debt in 2019, said Nasheed. MDP's proposal includes consulting with the relevant authorities and international financial institutions to change the term of the debt and the interest rate on the debt. However, the government did not implement this policy, he said.

"The government decided to take out the new loan to pay off the previous debt. The new loan has to be repaid," he said.

Nasheed said MDP faces elections with good policies. The government was forced to hike tax percentages this year due to the failure to implement the MDP's policies, he said.

"Many MDP members are unhappy with the government because it is not implementing the MDP's policies. We will reduce taxes in an MDP government," he said.

Nasheed said his rivals should know that the people of Maldives were intelligent and aware people. The people would not fall for persuasions to do certain things to get land in return ahead of the election.

"An MDP government will not do this in the last year of the term. We will not begin implementing our policies with one week left for the election," said Nasheed.