Democrats, MNP and JP agree to field a single candidate if PPM agrees

Opposition leaders speak to media after agreeing to field a single candidate against President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. | Photo: Dhauru

The MNP, Democrats and JP have agreed to field a single candidate from all the opposition political parties if Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) agrees.

The three leaders met at the JP headquarters in Malé City today. After the discussions, JP leader Qasim told reporters that if PPM and MRM can agree to field a single candidate, their three parties have agreed to field a single candidate.

“We will also talk to the PPM and MRM to agree on this. We want the three parties to field one candidate for the presidential election,” Qasim said.

Before arriving at JP Office for the discussion, both Qasim and Nazim announced their intention to contest the presidential election and their campaign had begun. Democrats have also said they will nominate a candidate, but have yet to name one.

After the discussions, Qasim told the media that the three parties agreed to find a candidate who could agree with all the opposition political parties. The consent of the largest opposition party PPM is also important, he said.

Nasheed, who left the ruling MDP, said all three parties agreed to nominate a candidate that could be agreed upon by all parties. The future will see the search for a candidate that all parties agree on, he told.

However PPM has once again said the rival political parties to nominate former President Yameen as the candidate to defeat President Ibrahim Mohammed Solih in the upcoming presidential election.

PPM secretary general, Mohamed Tholal, sent a message to the party’s WhatsApp group for media briefings on the matter, saying the party wishes to declare Yameen as the only candidate that can be agreed upon.

The first person to come up with the idea of a single candidate was former President Mohammed Nasheed, who left the ruling party after being dissatisfied with the government. Nasheed also asked that the candidate be another person besides him and Yameen.

However, Yameen is serving an 11-year prison sentence. Yameen will not be able to contest the election as long as the sentence remains in force. The appeal against the verdict has come to a halt in the High Court as a judge is on leave.

However, the leadership is refusing to talk openly about a candidate other than Yameen. While its discussions are internal, it is known that there are differences of opinion within the leadership over a candidate.