The Mohamed Muizzu administration is initiating projects without planning and without sourcing the necessary funds, former President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has said. Solih made the remark while speaking at a Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) rally for MDP candidates contesting in the upcoming parliamentary elections.

The ex-president went on to say that while the economy was not in good shape when he took office, his administration sourced funds needed to run the government within their first three months.

“We secured US$200 million for the budget. We secured US$800 million as project financing. We secured a US$400 million currency swap to address the foreign reserve shortfall,” he said.

At the end of the administration, the reclamation of Gulhifalhu began after conducting the necessary studies and raising funds, he said. That is why the project is moving ahead Solih said, as he criticised the current administration’s Ras Malé project.

“Fushidhiggarufalhu [Ras Malé project] stopped because it started without any plan. This administration is doing things without a plan, without planning, without getting money just to take a picture,” he said.

“The tourism sector alone has lost US$58 million in these three months. If you include other related sectors, about US$68 million has been lost,” he said as he criticised the current administration’s foreign policy for the decline, although overall visitors, according to the Ministry of Tourism, have increased.

The administration has no economic policy and vision, and has not done anything to increase state revenue, he said calling on voters to secure MDP a majority win in the Parliament to put the country on the right track economically.

Solih also criticised the current administration’s decision in January to build an airport on Nilandhoo Island of Faafu (F) Atoll, while most of the work on the airport in Magoodhoo has been completed. He alleged that this was done in an effort to win votes for President Mohamed Muizzu’s sister Fatima Saudha who is contesting the Nilandhoo constituency.

“[He] is emptying the entire state coffers to elect [his] own sister by stopping construction of the airport at Magoodhoo. This should be stopped,” Solih said at the campaign rally. The Maldives Transport and Contracting Company (MTCC), the contractor on the project, had earlier said that they had not been ordered to stop work. The state-owned company made the assurance after protest by Magoodhoo residents expressing fears of a work stoppage at the airport development.

According to Solih, MVR 115 million has already been spent on construction and while a total of 35 hectares have been reclaimed, work on the terminal has begun with the fire station building nearing completion and tarring of the runway set to begin.

“In this case, for own gain, to get their [his] own sister elected, the whole project has been moved elsewhere. These things must be stopped,” Solih explained.

Solih however, called on the people of Magoodhoo to not worry, saying that, after the MDP wins the majority in parliament, the administration will be ‘legally forced’ to build the airport in Magoodhoo.

“Don’t back down, if you have to protest, protest,” he said, adding that he was with the people of Magoodhoo.

“This is not the way a leader should act,” he said, adding that the subsequent administration should continue with what the previous administration had started.

Projects such as the Hiyaa Flats and the Fares-Maathodaa Airport, which were initiated during the Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom administration were completed during his presidency, Solih said.