Government: Will be hard to proceed with 2 presidential candidates

President Solih delivering an address at the official function held to mark the 130th anniversary of the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF)

The President’s Office on Wednesday has stated that it would be hard to proceed with two presidential candidates who are contesting in the upcoming presidential election being in the government.

On Tuesday night, Jumhoory Party (JP) - one of the main parties that form the ruling government coalition announced its intention to put forth a presidential candidate of its own. 

Responding to a question regarding this, the Spokesperson for the President’s Office Miuvan Mohamed said that President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has sent out invitations to the coalition parties to reform the union for the elections, and that they have yet to receive a response from JP. 

“However, Adhaalath Party and MDA has decided to proceed with the President.”

He went on to note that if JP is to solely contest the elections, it would be difficult to move forward with two candidates in the government. 

Furthermore, Miuvan said that should such a situation arise, the President will hold discussions with JP and its leader Qasim Ibrahim on the next steps to be taken. 

With JP being a major component of the government coalition, members of the party are in leadership, including Qasim’s wife, Aishath Nahula, who is the incumbent Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation. 

Following JP’s announcement, MDP’s faction that supports former President Mohamed Nasheed have begun work to form a joint parliamentary group with the party. It is widely believed that Nasheed will be backing Qasim’s bid for presidency.