Qasim: This election is rigged, there's no transparency

JP's leader Qasim Ibrahim takes part in 2023 presidential debate on September 2, 2023.

JP’s leader and presidential candidate, Qasim Ibrahim says that the presidential election, slated for Saturday, is under extensive government influence, and lacks any transparency.

At Saturday’s presidential debate, Qasim criticized President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s administration.

He accused the administration of allowing Indian troops to station in Maldives – an allegation the administration has repeatedly denied.

“I am here because I firmly believe the current administration has violated the constitution,” he said.

When asked about his debt repayment policy, Qasim said he would secure USD 600 million in grants to cover debt repayment in 2026.

He also said he plans to change the tax system in order to generate more revenue, without going into specifics.

Qasim said his foreign policy would be the same as that maintained during Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and Ibrahim Nasir’s administrations.

“Our foreign policy will prioritize the Maldivian people. The Maldivian people will come first, second and third. This means in economics, social affairs and in domestic affairs,” he said.

Qasim pledged to increase the monthly allowance paid to the elderly from MVR 5,000 to MVR 7,000.

He said that both MDP and PPM had failed to rule the country, and that the time was come for a better candidate.

“So, the people must consider who the best candidate is. It is important to vote for someone who has the capability and capacity to help you in these ways,” he said.