No pressure from India to select Shahid as running mate: President Solih

Maldivian Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid (L) and Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar (C) with Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih (R) at the inauguration of National College for Policing & Law Enforcement (NCPLE) at Addu. | Photo: President’s Office

Malé, Maldives – President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has said that there is no pressure from India to make Foreign Minister Abdullah Shahid his running mate in the 2023 presidential elections.

President said he had not yet decided on the running mate and there was no pressure from neighboring India to give Minister Shahid the running mate.

President Solih also said that no foreign country will interfere in the political affairs of Maldives.

The President said there are many people of presidential candidate and running mate quality in the MDP.

When asked whether he would give the running mate to an MDP member, the President said he would give the opportunity to an MDP member if MDP contested the election alone.

If a coalition is formed, it will go through the discussion. I don’t necessarily think it should be a member of a particular party.

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih

President Solih won the 2018 presidential election and the running mate slot was given to the JP.

Minister Abdulla Shahid has remained an Indian governments favorite in the Maldivian political arena. India also supported Abdulla Shahid’s successful run for the President of United Nations General Assembly for 2021.

Pictures of Shahid attending a party of GMR boss, Grandhi Mallikarjuna Rao alongside with Speaker of Maldivian Parliament, Mohamed Nasheed who was also in India on an unofficial trip also surfaced earlier this year.

Earlier this year, Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid had endorsement of President Ibrahim Solih for a second term. He made the remarks following his meeting with Speaker Nasheed, in India. The New Delhi meeting, in which India’s External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar was present, had raised eyebrows in Maldives.

Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed (L) and Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid (R) with India’s External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar (C) seen at India’s GMR Group’s Chairman Grandhi Mallikarjuna Rao’s grandchild’s wedding party.