The PPM-PNC presidential candidate, Dr. Mohamed Muizzu, has heavily criticized President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, characterizing him as a leader who failed to build a bridge in the Maldives.
Speaking at a campaign event held at Addu City on Monday night, Dr. Muizzu said the Maldives is witnessing a lag in the country's development and that that situation can only be reversed with the cooperation of the people.
Muizzu said a key reason to change the Maldives' leadership is the incumbent president's unsuccessful attempt to construct the Maldives' second over-water bridge during his tenure, highlighting a sharp contrast with the success of the 2018 PPM government in building the Sinamale Bridge. This comparison places before the people a choice between a leader who accomplished bridge-building and one who did not, he said.
Dr. Muizzu also identified housing and unemployment issues as the most pressing issues faced by the nation. He said the top priority in his government will be to resolve these two issues.
The presidential hopeful further said every pledge he makes would be part of the PPM-PNC manifesto and that the details of the pledges would be announced.
Speaking on the development of Addu City, Muizzu outlined plans to generate over 10,000 jobs through the coastal tourism concept while also committing to establishing a seaplane hub in the city. His administration, he pledged, would interconnect the islands of Addu City with isolated Hulhumeedhoo via a bridge.
Sharing key points of the PPM manifesto, Muizzu said he would bring the necessary changes to the law to expand the internet business in the Maldives. Modern online payment systems, including popular platforms like PayPal and Payoneer, would be introduced, aligning the Maldives with international standards, he said.
Addressing women's empowerment, Muizzu proposed an MVR 1 million loan scheme exclusively for Maldivian women entrepreneurs. He pledged to establish a dedicated market for products created by women and the formation of women's cooperatives to manage this market. A women's business platform would be established as well.
Shedding light on national sovereignty, Muizzu raised concerns over threats to the Maldives' independence and security. While the country's sovereignty is in a state of concern, he said the country is at the risk of losing its independence if the issue is ignored. He appealed to the people to vote for him in the upcoming election to avoid such a situation.