Nasheed: Will do whatever it takes to keep MDP in power even if I am not contesting

Parliament Speaker, former President Mohamed Nasheed. (Sun Photo/Ahmed Aiman Ali)

Maldivian Democratic Party’s (MDP) Leader, Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed has stated that he will do whatever it takes to keep his party in power, no matter who wins the party’s ticket for the upcoming presidential elections.

In an interview given to ‘The Hindu’ during his ongoing trip to Sri Lanka to officiate the second session of the fifth Sri Lanka Youth Parliament – Nasheed said that MDP needs to remain in power to ensure that the democracy established in the Maldives continues.

When inquired whether he planned on contesting in 2023’s presidential elections – Nasheed replied that “there is always the thought of running”, which will not change.

Nevertheless, he stressed that the priority is to ensure that MDP remains in power – therefore will work alongside any candidate to secure the win.

He also noted he does not see himself competing with current President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, for the elections – adding that President Solih would not either.

Speaking further in the interview, Nasheed, who has always been a strong advocate for a parliamentary system, went on to criticize the presidential system currently in place in the Maldives. In this regard, he detailed that the current system makes it impossible for any political party to secure over 50 percent of the vote and win an election without joining hands with smaller political parties – some of them which espouse ‘extremists’ religious views.

“And they have a disproportionate amount of power when we are in government,” he added.

Nasheed departed to Sri Lanka, on a three-day official trip, at the invitation of Sri Lankan Youth Minister Namal Rajapaksa, on Sunday.

On this trip, Nasheed officiated the second session of the fifth Sri Lanka Youth Parliament.

Sri Lanka Youth Parliament is a special project implemented by the National Youth Services Council to develop skilled and capable young leaders.

During the trip, Nasheed also met senior Sri Lankan government officials in addition to Sri Lankans investing in the Maldives.