China, under grant aid, will develop all roads in Malé, President Mohamed Muizzu said on Monday while speaking at a campaign event for Ahmed Zameer, an administration aligned candidate contesting the upcoming parliamentary elections.

The main priority for the Malé area is housing and road construction, the President said.

“China has now agreed to build all the roads in Malé free of charge,” he said, adding that talks to finalise the project were almost complete.

He had tried to implement the project while he was Malé Mayor but the then Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)-led administration had prevented him from doing so, Muizzu said.

The Ibrahim Mohamed Solih-led MDP administration, with their majority in parliament, had not been able to build roads or provide adequate housing in the city or throughout the country, the president claimed, going on to reiterate that the decision, on the heels of the presidential elections, to provide housing on Gulhifalhu and Giraavarufalhu was taken without a plan.

“Just vacant lots, there aren’t even roads, nothing defined and planned from the ground up, and what about land for other basic needs, such as schools, hospitals and other service centres, none of this,” he said.

His administration is now reclaiming more land in Gulhifalhu and Giraavaru and the land use plan is being finalised, Muizzu said. Once complete, all those who have submitted their documentation will be given land from the designated areas, he said.

Work to provide loans at lower than five percent interest is also nearing completion, the president said.