Pres: Rejection of SDF bill proves electing opposition MPs not beneficial

President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu addresses a campaign rally on March 25, 2024. (Photo/PPM)

The move to reject the sovereign development fund bill proves that electing opposition politicians to the Parliament is not beneficial to the people, says President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu.

He made the comment in an address on Tuesday night, at the opening of the campaign center of Abdul Sattar Mohamed (Sato), the main ruling People’s National Congress (PNC)’s candidate for the Goidhoo parliamentary seat.

Addressing the rally, President Muizzu said the SDF bill was rejected on Monday by the Parliament – which the main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) holds a majority in – without any proper justification.

President Muizzu said that the sovereign development fund, rather than something that is for future generations, had been used for various purposes.

“It is in our manifesto, and is also our pledge, to protect the sovereign development fund. The former administration even converted the US dollars in the fund to Maldivian Rufiyaa. We want to lock this fund as a dollar fund instead of a Rufiyaa fund and to pass legislature specifically for this fund,” he said.

President Muizzu said that this was crucial to getting the Maldivian economy on the right track, adding that the bill was also the first legislature his administration submitted to the Parliament.

“They rejected the bill. What’s the reason? There is no reason. You have seen how they did it. So why should you elect such people to the next Parliament?” he said.

President Muizzu said that the MDP administration had “scattered” the sovereign development fund, and that it was his administration which put it back on the right track.

Last month, Economic Minister Mohamed Saeed said the new administration has deposited USD 30 million to the sovereign development fund since it took office in November 2023, and expects the fund to grow to USD 130 million by the end of the year.