The main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has countered President Mohamed Muizzu’s inaugural address to Parliament, accusing it of being replete with inaccuracies and misleading statements. 

Alifushi MP Mohamed Rasheed Hussain, the MDP Parliamentary Group Leader, relayed the official response from the opposition, dissecting the President’s narrative on the country’s current state and highlighting perceived inconsistencies with the achievements and initiatives of the previous MDP administration.

The opposition’s response focused on several key areas where they allege President Muizzu misrepresented facts or claimed credit for projects initiated under the MDP’s tenure. Among the contested claims was the handling of the economy, particularly in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. The MDP contends that through strategic measures, they managed to sustain and grow the economy, contrary to President Muizzu’s portrayal of economic fragility.

Housing, a significant concern for Maldivians, was another focal point of contention. The opposition criticises the current administration for lack of progress in distributing housing units—a project they claim to have set in motion during their governance. The MDP asserts that nearly 24,200 housing units were underway at the time of the government transition, challenging President Muizzu’s commitment to continue these efforts.

The MDP also accuses the President of misleading the public regarding financial policies, including the cessation of debt monetisation and the introduction of housing loans at lower interest rates, alleging these were MDP initiatives. They also claim credit for advancements in health care and tourism, asserting that the foundation for recent successes in these sectors was laid by their administration.

Rasheed, who is also the parliament majority leader, further expressed disappointment over the president’s failure to mention the social and educational sectors in his address. This omission, according to the opposition, underscores a disregard for pressing social issues like drug abuse and education reform.

The opposition’s counter-narrative also touches on governance transparency, alleging a downturn in information sharing and freedom of expression under President Muizzu’s leadership. This includes a cessation of updates on state expenditures and accusations of stifling critical voices, highlighted by the blocking of news websites.

The MDP’s response, while vehement in its critique, aims to underscore what they perceive as the undermining of their administration’s accomplishments and the distortion of current governance realities.