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Hue and Cry: Paint War Colors Election

Friday, June 21, 2013

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Political history has always been colorful—you’ve got your Greens and your reds, whites and blues—but one island nation is drenched in a clash of campaign color.

A "paint war" is escalating in Malé, the capital of Maldives, where a nasty presidential campaign is in full swing.

Not content with mere speeches, ads and baby kissing, backers of the candidates' four parties are showing their loyalty by exuberantly—and literally—painting the town, the local Minivan News reports.

Maldives curb
Minivan News

Pink and yellow are grappling for supremacy in the capital, but green, red and even white are also suspect during the Maldives' volatile presidential election season.

Supporters are "painting buildings, walls and even plant life in party colours," the news site reports.

Pushy in Pink

Most aggressive, as gauged by their colorful presence, are members of the government-aligned Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), whose official color is pink.

Minivan News reports that PPM followers have been "covering state property and government buildings, such as walls outside the new Supreme Court compound" in the color.

Yellow, the color of the Maldivian Democratic Party, has also been prominent, as have "other political colours": presumably, the GIP (National Unity) Party's green and the JP (Republican) Party's red.

Wikimedia Commons

Political parties in the Indian Ocean nation wear their colors proudly. The current president is a GIP (green) member.

The pinks and the yellows are at it the worst, however, the newspaper says. A group of women recently painted the walls of the local stadium in MDP yellow after PPM's pink brigades covered a large section of the lower walls.

Walls of an artificial beach, a state bank and government buildings have all been the target of dueling pink and yellow assaults.

Paint Ceasefire?

Local authorities, who are faced with trying to remove the mess—sometimes, repeatedly from the same site—are fed up. Police do not have the resources to stop the activity, and the cost of paint removal will be significant for the 1,200-island republic of 320,000 in the Indian Ocean.

Maldives beach

Paint removal is normally not a big-ticket item in the Maldives, but the country will be facing a major tab soon.

Worse, concern is growing that revved-up crowds of political supporters could clash as they attempt to obliterate each other's colors.

Authorities are warning that the activity is illegal, and candidates and local officials have called for a paint ceasefire, but they are also accusing their opponents of whipping up the trend, which seems unlikely to abate soon.

Critics are even angry at the outgoing president, a GIP (green) member, accusing him of suppressing expression by ordering many buildings covered in white.


Tagged categories: Asia Pacific; Color; Color + Design; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Government; Graffiti; Maintenance programs; Paint Removal

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