The economical spectrum of any given nation gets significantly impacted during the election year; big or small country alike.
Maldives is no exception and with the presidential election of the island nation looming close it is interesting to factor in the prospect of economic development.
It is highly expected the Indian Ocean archipelago's economic background (or foreground) may change drastically depending on the outcome of 2018's presidential polls.
Conventionally immediately after the polls conclude and a president is sworn in to the office the speed or pace of economic development slows down slightly. This places the future of the nation's economical strategy or plans for progress at limbo; generating an awful lot of surprise within the public.
Everyone would be expecting to see economic reform or growth with uncertainty; and the state expenditure slows down accordingly to reflect on the future decisions of the newly elected head of state.
Election year is when the game of politics intensify considerably; the two ends of the political power struggle, the ruling faction and the opposition faction will be at each other's teeth to one-up each other.
Each 'team' would check the cards at hand and decide a power-play while the other would factor in an equally counteractive response. This open leads to a multi-faceted rivalry often breaching the internal borderline of a country's political framework treading to the attention of international communities.
The outcomes or the course of actions attached to a country's political stability deeply effects the relative outcome of its economic future as well.
The international relations of countries tend to change with new administrations, which was evident when president Abdulla Yameen took top-office in 2013. This is a key factor in shaping the economic growth of any given country.
Maldives for decades enjoyed a close bond with neighboring south-Asian giant India but with president Yameen's administration the island nation slowly unhooked itself from the grip of New Delhi and swayed towards Beijing.
This proved to bring in a drastic change in the country's economic foreground; the island nation initiated the largest infrastructural project ever in its history. The creation of a bridge linking Maldives capital with the international airport island Hulhule'.
During presidential elections such impactful pledges are made by contesting candidates that in turn reshape the country's economy gradually.
However, the power-struggle during polls year can often bring catastrophic end results too. If the contesting powers violate the election protocols or go beyond ethical boundaries to underpin their opponents, it may be reflected negatively at the international community. Should the dominating faction malpractices their campaign and come to power it may harm the economic prospect for the nation since they would have already lost face in front of potential investors or foreign hands willing to shake.
Election years are often regarded as unstable or volatile periods for investors or financiers much like for local ventures. The whole corporate field transitions into a similar case scenario to that of a stock-exchange floor.
With the country's economy in uncertainty, and the future of it in speculation, investors are not willing to 'play ball' on simple hunches or gut-feelings. No one is the wiser regarding who will emerge victorious, and often at times corporate engagements or agreements fall into temporary suspension.
Businesses end up spitballing about the future of their ventures and investors often take a seat without taking action. Mainly because of new governments often showing disrespect towards specific investors or businesses about the precedent deals or agreements made.
To put it in layman's terms, a change in the government could result in either the rise or fall of company or gain or loss for an investor depending on how the government decides who to favor and who not to; because let's admit it government nepotism is a long talked about but often shelved topic.
"Foreign investors are placing their money on businesses, which belongs to the country and not to a reigning government. So investors should not face the brunt of changing governments, which often is not the case sadly," president of MATATO Abdulla Giyas noted.
There is a strange yet well documented correlation with the economic growth rate against a country's election year. For instance Kenya suffered slow economic growth in 1993, 1998 and 2003; a year after presidential elections were held.
Usually the economic growth rate slows down a year after the election has been held, which is mainly because of the newcomer government would be adjusting to existing international business regulations as well as internal corporate governance rules.
World Bank claims the economic growth of Maldives would increase on average by 4.7% in 2017 and 2019. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rate would increase by 4.6% in 2018 and the following year.
However, economic experts claim the rates may get affected since the island nation's prime economic catalyst; tourism sector is threatened over the changing paradigms in local politics.
There is little to no doubt that this year's presidential election will bring with a lot of commotion and excitement; some will revel in the glory of winning and others would mourn the loss of their backed candidates. Either of it maybe the case for everyone, but the presidential election campaign has kicked-off vigorously meaning a lot more will shift in the political platform in the coming weeks.
But at any given scenario this should not affect the country's economic development or else it may bring about a cataclysmic end-result to various businesses and entrepreneurs in the country that would eventually affect the public in general.