Sunday 29th Jan 2023
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President Solih

President Solih Accused of Misusing State Resources for Campaign: Echoes of Autocratic Tactics

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih of Maldives is facing allegations of using state resources for his campaign as he contests in the Maldivian Democratic Party's (MDP) primary election to choose its presidential candidate for the upcoming presidential election in the Maldives which will be held on September 9th, 2023.
President Solih is currently visiting various islands across the nation, using state resources for what the government describes as "official trips" of the President. However, once he reaches the island, he takes part in official events and then continues to participate in his campaign activities. This has raised concerns among the public and opposition parties, who accuse him of misusing state resources for his campaign.
In addition to using state resources for his campaign, President Solih has also been accused of using state media to promote himself, and forcing staffs of state-owned companies to attend his events. Transparency Maldives, a non-government organization, last week criticized President Solih's use of state resources in his campaign.
The use of state resources for political campaigns is a concerning issue as it gives an unfair advantage to the incumbent and undermines the democratic process. This is a tactic commonly used by dictators and autocrats to maintain their grip on power. Examples include Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe, who used state-controlled media to promote his campaign and intimidate opposition candidates, and Vladimir Putin in Russia, who used state resources to support his re-election and suppress opposition voices.
The public is concerned that if President Solih is misusing state resources during the primary, it is likely that he will use state resources in the presidential election as well, undermining the democratic process and giving him an unfair advantage. The use of state resources for political campaigns is a concerning issue and could lead to the erosion of democratic principles in the Maldives.