Former Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer has commended President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih for his achievements.
Alexander Downer said the Maldives has stabilized and made great economic and social progress under President Solih's leadership.
“As a former Australian Foreign Minister, I commend him for what he has achieved,” Downer stated.
While the Maldives' presidential election looms up ahead, Downer highlighted the progress made by Maldives in recent years. Downer said the Maldives has placed great priority on governing in accordance with democratic principles and strengthening international relations. The Maldives’ re-joining the Commonwealth is a testament to these efforts, he said.
Downder said the Maldives introduced a ten percent service charge to employees working in the tourism sector in the Maldives during President Solih's current term. As a result, the quality of their life has significantly improved, he said.
Regarding the introduction of a minimum wage in the Maldives, Downer praised the government for aligning the country's minimum wage with Australia's standards, which he viewed as a crucial step toward economic equality.
He also acknowledged the government's commitment to enhancing the higher education sector in the Maldives by providing free degree opportunities and increasing teachers’ salaries by 56 percent.
"Both countries prioritize education. Maldives offers free education up to undergraduate degrees. This will facilitate economic opportunities," he said.
Downer further highlighted that the Maldives is among the Muslim countries that grants six months of paid maternity leave and one month of paid paternity leave. He said that although the Maldives is a small country, it is strengthening its laws to address 21st-century challenges.
“As they head to the polls, I hope the people of Maldives will remember the progress their country has made and think about a future with good leadership,” Downer said.