The Maldives opposition coalition has reached an agreement to field a common candidate after former president Mohamed Nasheed gave up the main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party’s ticket.
The coalition will field an MDP presidential candidate with a running mate from the Jumhooree Party, it was announced late Friday night.
The breakthrough came after weeks of indecision and bickering between the coalition partners, with both Nasheed and JP leader Gasim Ibrahim barred from contesting due to controversial prison sentences.
Parliamentary group leader Ibrahim Mohamed Solih is expected to become the MDP presidential candidate. A decision will be made at the MDP’s third national congress due to begin shortly on the island of Ukulhas in Alif Alif atoll.
Changes have been proposed to the MDP governing statutes to authorise either the congress or national council to award the presidential ticket if the primary winner is unable to contest.
It is unclear when the JP vice presidential candidate will be announced. The party’s newly-elected president, Ali Waheed, has backed Gasim’s wife Aishath Nahula as the running mate.
The presidential election is scheduled for September 23.
The opposition alliance was formed between the MDP, JP and Adhaalath Party in early 2015 and bolstered by the weight of former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom in March last year.
My heartfelt congratulations to the joint opposition parties who have today agreed to field a common Presidential ticket. A MDP presidential candidate with a JP running mate, backed by the whole opposition. I believe this is the way forward in restoring democracy in the Maldives.
— Mohamed Nasheed (@MohamedNasheed) June 29, 2018
Photo: Mohamed Sharuhaan for Raajje.mv