Tomorrow’s vote is a choice between democracy and dictatorship. What PPM is offering Maldivians is a return to the system of patronage that existed in the old regime, when people existed on ad hoc hand-outs from Gayoom for basic services like health and education. Today fishermen are being promised MVR 10,000 every month, catch or no catch. The ‘elderly’, at an undefined age, are being promised MVR 5,200 a month, for being old. Women are being asked why they consider going out to work when they can claim benefits from the State for staying at home. Security forces do not protect the people but the leaders and their interests. PPM has brought on board radical clerics to preach democracy and MDP are a danger to Islam. It will let Adhaalath Party dictate policy more than ever before. It won’t tax the rich because ‘there is no benefit in income tax for the Maldivian economy’, and it is advocating a foreign policy of cutting ties with democratic governments and institutions focusing, instead, on alliances with autocratic regimes in the Middle East, and China. It will be a country in which everything will be dictated, nothing freely chosen.
Why choose this over the opportunity to have a government in which people have a say in how the country is run, everyone has the opportunity to work for financial independence and happiness, and remains open to the globalised world?