President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, seeking re-election under the banner of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), has said he would not give up even an inch of Maldives' soil to foreigners.
Speaking at a campaign event held at GDh. Thinadhoo on Wednesday, President Solih responded to allegations by the opposition that the current government had permitted foreign military personnel in a way that jeopardized the Maldives' sovereignty.
Recalling that former President Abdulla Yameen's government had amended the Maldives' Constitution to allow foreigners to own land in the Maldives, President Solih criticized the move and said the amendment was introduced with the intention of selling an atoll to a foreign entity. The current government reversed the amendment to safeguard Maldivian land from being sold, he said.
"As long as we are in power, not even an inch of this country, not even a single grain of sand, will be owned by foreigners, I can assure you that," he said.
President Solih categorically rejected the opposition's claims that he had agreed to sell party of the Maldives' waters to Mauritius in a letter addressed to the Mauritian Prime Minister concerning the disputed territory between the Maldives and Mauritius. He expressed disbelief at the extent of dishonesty and deceit from a party attempting to attain power.
“However, the people have been deceived,” the President said.
President Solih said whatever the outcome of the first round of the presidential election, the results can be changed in the second round. He said if MDP's breakaway party, The Democrats' members in the islands, backed MDP in the second round, he would easily receive the majority in all but a few islands.
The President affirmed his commitment to resolving the housing issue in Thinadhoo by dredging land and constructing more than the initially promised 500 flats. He also pledged to enable people across the country to use their pension fund savings to purchase land and flats in his second term.