President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has stated that despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Government has been able to continue work this year on 154 of the 372 projects initiated since assuming office. He made this statement this morning in his address to the nation in commemoration of the Maldives’ 53rd Republic Day.
President Solih acknowledged that the pandemic has forced the country to revise its economic forecasts and reprioritize the projects contained in its Strategic Action Plan. However, through a streamlined budget next year, the Government endeavours to deliver on its major pledges. He listed decentralising the country, ensuring infrastructural progress, high-quality basic services nationwide, upholding human rights and protecting the environment as key priorities.
The President reiterated his pledge to eliminate single-use plastic in the Maldives by the year 2023. Further, he pledged that the Government would continue to in its efforts to provide financial assistance to individuals and business affected by the pandemic, as part of its broader efforts to restore and revitalize the economy.
Paying tribute to two of his predecessors, President Mohamed Ameen, who heralded the Maldives’ first republic, and President Ibrahim Nasir, who inaugurated our second and current republic, President Solih’s remarks centred around this Administration’s efforts to strengthen our republic, imbue it with democratic principles, and uplift the country’s citizens, during its two years in office – a milestone it will achieve six days from now. As the President expressed in his remarks, this year it has continued those efforts, despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.
He noted that when he initially assumed office, the rights of Maldivian citizens were severely restricted, and there was no space for political dissent and free expression. The President remarked that during his time in office he has endeavoured to renew the political space and restore citizens’ basic rights, including free expression and free media. He noted that those two rights are absolutely essential for a democratic republic to thrive, stating that free media, in particular, is a powerful tool with a profound influence on the country’s direction. In light of this, he urged the media to always abide by principles of honesty and integrity.
President Solih also gave his assurance to all citizens that as long as he remains in office, he would prioritize two things in particular: protecting the Maldives’ religious unity and preserving its sovereignty and independence. Ending his remarks, the President reiterated his felicitations to citizens on the occasion of Republic Day. He offered a prayer to Almighty Allah, asking him to bless ongoing efforts to bring prosperity and progress to the people of Maldives and to increase the love for our country in our hearts.