Opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)’s Chairperson Fayyaz Ismail has publicly criticised the new government led by President Dr Mohamed Muizzu for the first time since it took office on 17 November. 

Speaking at the launch of the MDP’s campaign for Malé City Council by-elections on Sunday, Fayyaz highlighted the infeasibility of Muizzu’s campaign pledges and the incompetency of his cabinet ministers, particularly those appointed due to their close ties with party heads, which has led to public ridicule on social media.

Fayyaz accused President Muizzu of mimicking MDP’s election manifesto with slight alterations, an approach that has backfired due to the government’s inability to deliver. His primary grievance was the scrapping of the MDP government’s housing schemes for the greater Malé area, a decision he considers a significant setback for the city’s development.

Fayyaz referred to the accomplishments of the previous MDP government under President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, particularly the signing of agreements to develop areas like Hulhumalé, Gulhifalhu, Giraavarufalhu, and Uthuru Thila Falhu (UTF) to alleviate congestion in Malé. 

He criticised the current government’s plan to develop housing at K. Fushidhiggaru lagoon, 45 minutes away from Malé, questioning the practicality of such a distant location. He compared it to the development of Hulhumalé, which, despite being only 20 minutes away, took 15 to 20 years to develop.

Fayyaz expressed concern over the new government’s neglect of previously planned developments at Giraavarufalhu, Gulhifalhu, and UTF lagoons, which were not mentioned in the initial budget proposal. 

He emphasised the need for the public to question why these vital projects were not being pursued, especially when the Fushidhiggaru lagoon reclamation project is touted as the most important and largest project of the current government. 

His comments reflect a growing concern about the direction of the new administration and the potential long-term impacts on housing and infrastructure development in Malé and its surrounding areas.