MALÉ, Maldives - President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and the first lady are set to depart for the United Kingdom on May 4th, 2023, to attend the coronation ceremony of King Charles. This marks their second visit to the UK in less than a year, after attending Queen Elizabeth II's funeral last September. However, the lavish expenditures associated with these trips are drawing criticism as the Maldivian economy struggles under the weight of a budget deficit exceeding MVR 3 billion.
Reliable sources have revealed that President Solih's office has allocated a staggering MVR 9 million for this trip, raising concerns about the government's priorities. The previous trip to the UK for Queen Elizabeth II's funeral cost taxpayers over MVR 3 million, and these expenses are becoming increasingly difficult to justify as the country grapples with economic instability.
Since assuming office, President Solih has gained a reputation for his extensive travels, making him the first Maldivian president to embark on the most foreign trips in the shortest period. While Solih has openly expressed his fondness for traveling, his frequent trips are raising questions about their necessity and the impact they may have on the nation's already strained budget.
The timing of the President's latest journey is particularly concerning, as the Maldivian economy is facing significant challenges. With a budget deficit surpassing MVR 3 billion, the government has resorted to printing money for day-to-day expenses, further exacerbating the nation's economic woes.
As President Solih prepares to depart for the UK, the Maldivian people are left questioning the wisdom of such lavish expenditures during these difficult times.