I’m contesting because Abdulla Shahid didn’t: Nasheed

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. | Photo: Twitter

Dhuvaafaru, Maldives – Former President and Parliamentary Speaker Mohammed Nasheed has said that he is contesting in the presidential primary because Foreign Minister Abdullah Shahid did not contest.

As part of the MDP’s presidential primary campaign, speaking to the people in R. Dhuvaafaru yesterday, Nasheed said that he would not have contested in the primary if Minister Shahid agreed to contest.

“I told Shahid before I announced my intent to contest this time that if he wanted to, I wouldn’t do this,” Speaker Nasheed said.

However, they do not seem to be the kind of people who are going to contest the primary this time, he said.

He said two candidates were identified as potential MDP candidates. They are Foreign Minister Abdullah Shahid and President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

Speaker Nasheed added that he noticed that there were few people who would vote for President Solih. He also believes that the MDP will not be able to win the government after losing many votes if President Solih gets the ticket.

Nasheed’s remarks come while President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has previously said that there is no pressure from India to make Foreign Minister Abdullah Shahid his running mate in the 2023 presidential elections when asked about the matter by journalists.

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.

President Solih is contesting in the MDP presidential primary against former President and MDP President Mohammed Nasheed. The primary will be held on the 28th of this month. Both are campaigning enthusiastically for the primary.

MDP Presidential Primary 2023 Timeline:

  • 18 December 2022– Presidential primary announced
  • 18 December 2022 – Presidential Primary
  • 24 December 2022– Deadline for acceptance of candidate nomination forms (at 16:00)
  • 26 December 2022 – Final list of candidates, with candidate numbers announced
  • 28 December 2022 – Presidential Primary Voters List released and open for complaints
  • 31 December 2022 – Voters List Complaints Deadline (16:00)
  • 03 January 2023 – Presidential Primary Final Voters List Released
  • 10 January 2023- Opening of opportunity for candidate representatives
  • 15 January 2023– Closing date for candidate representatives
  • 28 January 2023– Presidential Primary Voting Day