Former President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has accused the current administration of misusing over MVR 100 million in state funds to support the parliamentary campaign of the ruling People’s National Congress (PNC). This allegation comes as the Maldives gears up for the parliamentary elections on Sunday, with a total of 368 candidates contesting for 93 constituencies.

During a march held on Friday afternoon marking the conclusion of the main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party’s (MDP) parliamentary campaign, Solih criticised President Dr Mohamed Muizzu’s administration for failing to fulfil its electoral pledges and for a lack of transparency in financial affairs. 

“No information regarding the state’s finances has been disclosed in the past three weeks,” Solih stated, highlighting a recent increase in political appointments and associated costs which he claimed had risen by MVR 450 million compared to the previous year.

Solih’s campaign trail across various islands revealed widespread discontent with the current government, echoing Transparency Maldives’ recent concerns about the misuse of state resources and vote buying in the upcoming elections. 

The former president argued that the only remedy to these issues is securing a parliamentary majority for the MDP, implying that a vote for the government-aligned candidates would hinder development and manipulate public housing and land allocation projects.

These allegations compound ongoing investigations by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), which is currently probing 14 cases related to electoral malpractices, including the inappropriate use of state resources for campaign purposes by the PNC. 

The ACC’s inquiries are focused on allegations of campaigning with state resources, offering bribes, and violating candidates’ rights. The ACC’s active involvement underscores the serious nature of the allegations and reflects ongoing efforts to uphold electoral integrity.

Findings from Transparency Maldives’ pre-election assessment have already highlighted significant challenges, such as the low number of women candidates, vote buying, and the misuse of state resources. 

This report has raised alarms about systemic issues that could potentially impact the fairness of the elections, indicating a pattern of concerns that align with Solih’s accusations against the current government.