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Running mate joins Ibu on campaign trail

Faisal Naseem was picked by the JP for the opposition coalition’s joint ticket.



MP Faisal Naseem, newly appointed running mate of the opposition coalition, has joined presidential candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih ‘Ibu’ on the campaign trail.

Accompanied by MP Ali Hussain, who lost to him by one vote in the Jumhooree Party council’s secret ballot Friday night, Naseem flew to Addu City on Saturday morning to join Ibu in door-to-door visits.

Speaking to reporters at the airport, Naseem expressed confidence of winning a strong majority from the southernmost atoll, adding that he has family in the second city.

“We can’t succeed in anything without the people of Addu,” he said.

Naseem was born in the neighbouring Fuvahmulah and previously represented the atoll in the Special Majlis that drafted the 2008 constitution. A successful businessman who conducts social welfare programmes through his foundation, he presently represents the Kaashidhoo constituency in Malé atoll.

The two southern cities, Addu and Fuvahmulah, has the largest populations outside of the capital.

Ibu arrived in Addu on Friday afternoon in his first campaign trip since being becoming the Maldivian Democratic Party’s alternative candidate.

He was greeted warmly by hundreds of supporters in the MDP stronghold.

The candidates are due to visit Fuvahmulah later today.

The campaign for the September 23 presidential election is now in full swing with both sides going door to door across the country.

Ahead of launching the door-to-door campaign in Addu, Ibu told the press that his aim was to visit each of the more than 180 inhabited islands before the poll date.

Led by its new running mate Dr Mohamed Shaheem with teams of ministers, lawmakers and state-owned company bosses, the Progressive Party of Maldives also launched door-to-door campaigning in Malé and its suburb islands on Friday.

First Lady Fathmath Ibrahim continued her door-to-door visits in Malé on the previous day.