The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) Chairperson, Fayyaz Ismail, pointing to words by the administration-aligned Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Ahmed Nazim, has called out President Mohamed Muizzu for being out of depth when it comes to the nation’s deteriorating economic status. Nazim had earlier advised that the Muizzu administration explain the Maldives’ current economic situation to the people and, if necessary, take ‘a bitter pill’ to overcome the current slowdown.

The administration, on the other hand, has since announced a number of measures to cut state spending and stabilise the fiscal situation, while supporters of the administration continue to attribute current economic failings to the previous MDP-led Ibrahim Mohamed Solih administration.

In response to the administration’s proposed reforms, Ismail, on social media, shared a video clip of a campaign speech by the President.

“The people voted for President Muizzu based on what he said about the previous administration,” Ismail said.

He was not talking about ‘bitter medicine’ at the time, Ismail said, highlighting that the President, during the campaign, said that he would provide a better way for the people and that he knew how to. Anyone can do things through ‘bitter medicine,’ Ismail said.

In the video, President Muizzu is seen saying that the state receives enough money every month, but that the previous administration was mis-managing funds. As an example, he cited the previous administration’s unnecessary expenses, lack of priorities, debt monetisation, and paying salaries through loans.

The President said the MDP-led government had put the nation’s main economic foundations on the sidelines and that he would stabilise the economy.

“Debt monetisation is over, and there are ways to raise money for outstanding loans. Friendly [well meaning] sources have already given the green signal to refinance these big loans. In fact, we have no concern about solving the economic situation in the Maldives,” Muizzu said at his campaign rally. While the President had, at the time, stated that his pledges were based in technical know-how, rating agency Fitch, following the current economic slowdown and citing “risks associated with the country’s worsening external financing and liquidity” has recently downgraded the Maldives’ B- rating to a CCC+.