17 November 2018 was not the day the people breathed a sigh of relief, rather, it was the day hopes that had most possibly died down completely, had been rejuvenated. The people were still wedged into the void former President Abdulla Yameen had left them in. There are faces still sunk from restricted rights and gross abandonment during the former administration.
While President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih came in as a chivalrous savior of the distraught nation, he steered in a whole boatload of vows to the people at rock bottom.
“We took the reins to serve the people and they have complete trust in us. Our biggest success would be in completing the pledges we have made to them” the President.
The light at the end of the tunnel.
On trips to bond with his people across the scatter of islands, President Solih steps onto island harbors and the first thing he sees is throngs of people who have gathered to welcome him. As he extends his hand to take theirs, the people cling on for a bit, and the President is overcome by the love he sees in their glistening eyes, glimmering with hope.
While it can be argued Solih is the most adored leader the country has seen thus far, this is completely justifiable when we take an observant look into the timeline of government accomplishments since establishment in November 2018. So many good changes have been brought to the livelihoods of the people and their rights have finally been guaranteed. In late March, just about five months into his inauguration, President Solih announced the completion of 83 percent of his administration’s “First 100-day pledges”.
Agenda 19, will be different!
While the government has rolled in “Agenda 19” as the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)’s major plan to deliver the President’s pledges, the President has since revealed that he is organizing a thorough action plan for his five-year tenure. All keen observers of the government’s progress will surely note some of the regime’s cleverest pledges as the introduction of the school breakfast program, the facilitation of loan schemes for Maldivian students studying abroad as well as the loan scheme for small and medium enterprises and the extension on paid maternity leave for civil service staff to six months.
While there have been many trolls ridiculing the President for his endeavors to bond with the people by taking selfies with his admirers, they have been asserting that the “60,000 selfies taken since assuming office” should have been 60,000 productive things done for the people instead. Despite the flippant mockery, President Solih assures the people that his government will thrive unceasingly to fulfill what’s left unfulfilled from his first-100-day pledges, which were initially made public as a challenge.
One of them include slashing electricity rates which the President assures will be achieved before its initial deadline. The assurance has been given at a time recurrent power cuts and hiking electricity costs have become a major issue for the citizens. Some island residents are observed to have sat in the dark for days on-end because they are unable to pay the ever so costly bills.
Another important pledge includes abolishing the ever stressful issue of housing. President Solih has pledged that there will not be a single family who has to sit out on the sidewalks or live in cramped situations unable to afford lush housing and that every individual will have a roof to live under by the time his five-year term concludes. The President will soon be announcing a housing scheme that comes with 4,000 housing units. A pledge also made during the previous administration which was on a crazy roller coaster even when it ended. President Solih is also to create a system to apply for flats without having to queue up.
Some other pledges include starting to utilize pension funds for Hajj pilgrimages, spreading road safety awareness which has become a mounting issue, the whistleblower act, bringing an end to illicit wealth, establish a tertiary hospital in each atoll, using renewable energy to air-condition mosques, carrying out an audit of jails and joining health facilities within a single network among many others.
Recently, the State Trading Organization (STO) revealed that staple food items will be sold at the same price as capital city Malé throughout the nation. This was an important pledge by President Solih as prices for staple foods such as rice, flour and sugar had been higher throughout the outlying atolls compared to the capital city.
With the announcement of 83 percent of the pledges already having been completed, the people are raining the President with praise and hope for the remaining pledges to be fulfilled. They are seen cheering him on and he is seen basking in the accomplishments. Go President Solih, you are on fire!