The opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has accused the newly instated government, led by President Dr Mohamed Muizzu, of failing to honour its campaign promises as it completes a tumultuous first 100 days in office. 

At a rally inaugurating the MDP’s parliamentary election campaign, Chairman Fayyaz Ismail delivered a scathing review of the People’s National Congress – Progressive Party of Maldives (PNC-PPM) government’s tenure, claiming the administration has misled the public with “300 lies in 100 days.”

Ismail, who previously served as the Economic Minister, lambasted the government for its inability to deliver on its primary pledge of economic stability. Contrary to the promises, the nation is veering towards economic adversity, he said.

The MDP leader accused the PNC-PPM of masquerading as a proponent of democracy, while its actions suggest an authoritarian regime, notably criticising its approach towards media freedoms, parting from norms of good governance, and lack of transparency.

The opposition’s charges of economic mismanagement find support in a recent evaluation by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). An IMF fact-finding mission highlighted growing fiscal and external vulnerabilities within the country, urging the government to adopt urgent policy adjustments. 

Although the government’s efforts to craft an ambitious fiscal reform agenda was appreciated, the IMF emphasised the necessity of sustained fiscal consolidation and tighter monetary policies to mitigate risks and ensure financial stability.

Amid these criticisms, rumours of a government plea to the IMF for a bailout have circulated, further fuelling the controversy. However, the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade has flatly refuted the claims, labelling them as attempts to undermine the credibility of the Maldives’ financial institutions and hinder economic reform. Economic Minister Mohamed Saeed dismissed the bailout speculation as “politically motivated,” maintaining that the economy is exceeding expectations due to solid economic fundamentals.

Adding to the contention, the opposition has also voiced concerns over the government’s foreign policy direction, particularly its pivot towards China. This shift has sparked warnings from both the opposition and analysts about the risks of over-reliance on China, highlighting potential vulnerabilities in the nation’s economic framework.