'I will be the one to bring development'

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has said that the projects started and completed in different parts of the country show that he can bring development to the Maldives.

President Solih is seeking re-election and will contest against Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed to gain the main-ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)'s Presidential Ticket in the party's presidential primary slated for January 28.

Speaking at a rally at the Male' Artificial Beach on Friday night, President Solih said the current government had implemented more projects in the last five years than any other government. He shared numbers on the projects being implemented in different parts of the country by the current government.

The President said 141 water and sewerage projects and 47 projects on easy access to islands had been completed. He said that while 1,578 classrooms had been built in the education sector, the construction of 17 mosques, 57 football fields, 61 futsal grounds, and 47 gyms had been completed. He also noted that generators had been installed in 313 islands.

"With these things, will we continue on the path of development, or will we get burned out? January 28's vote is how the MDP will decide on this," he said.

The president also responded to remarks by Nasheed praising opposition leader and former President Abdulla Yameen. Nasheed had said Yameen was better than Solih in every way, except for their 'India Out' campaign. Nasheed said Yameen was well-educated and intelligent and, therefore, much better than President Solih.

Referring to Nasheed's comments, President Solih said President Yameen was not an "okay" choice and that he would not work with Yameen.

"President Yameen is not okay. There will be no work to be done with him," he said at a rally attended by a large number of supporters.

President Solih also said his government would be the government that gives land to the people of Male' City. He also said flats built during the current term would be handed over to its recipients before the end of the term for the first time in recent history.

"For the first time in a term, I will hand over the keys to the flats that will be completed," he said.

The president spoke about the flats being developed by the Fahi Dhiriulhun Corporation. He said the FDR flats would be different and that it would be evident when the public saw them.

Noting that the current government was already addressing and resolving water, electricity, road, and transportation problems in all islands, President Solih said the RTL ferry system would link all islands. He said airports would be built within 20 or 30 minutes of travel distance from one airport to another.

"Like the airport in Hanimaadhoo, we will internationalize the Southern airport. The Gan International Airport will be able to serve 1.5 million passengers annually," he said.

In addition, the Hoarafushi Airport had been developed and put into operation, and the Faresmathoda airport had also been completed, he said. The development of airports in R. Alifushi, M. Muli, and F. Magoodhoo is already underway, while the development of airports in HDh. Makunudhoo, Sh. Bilehfahi, B. Tulhaadhoo, and Th. Vilufushi would be awarded to contractors soon, he said.