President Solih and Qasim to discuss JP-held top government posts

JP's leader Qasim Ibrahim (L) with President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih (R). (File Photo/Sun)

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and Jumhoory Party (JP)’s leader Qasim Ibrahim will meet to discuss JP’s slots in the current administration following the party’s decision to contest the upcoming presidential election independently, according to the President’s Office.

JP, which is part of the current coalition government, had decided Tuesday that it will not support President Solih’s re-election, and will contest the upcoming election independently instead – sparking concern from the main ruling party, Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP).

In a press conference Thursday afternoon, President’s Office spokesperson Miuvaan Mohamed said the government officials in charge of implementing President Solih’s policies should be people who support his policies themselves.

He said that it would be difficult to accomplish the goals President Solih wishes to accomplish working with people who do not support him, or support another presidential candidate.

“There will definitely be difficulties moving forward with people who reject the president’s policies, or people who work against him or support a rival candidate while remaining part of his administration,” he said.

President's Office spokesperson Miuvaan Mohamed speaks to the press on November 17, 2022. (Photo/President's Office)

Miuvaan said President Solih wishes to serve the people and run the government, and that he will “move forward” with people who support his work.

He said that it would be hard to run the government with two presidential candidates from the current government coalition, and that the government would hold discussions with JP regarding the party’s slots in President Solih’s administration if the party produces its own presidential candidate.

“President Solih will hold talks with Qasim Ibrahim and JP’s leadership on how to proceed if the party produces its own candidate. What’s important to the president is to serve the people, to run the government. President will move forward with people who support this,” he said.

JP opened candidacy for its primary to choose a presidential candidate Thursday.

Following the decision by JP to contest the election, MDP MPs had criticized JP and demanded the resignation of the party’s politicians serving top posts in President Solih’s administration.

Qasim responded that President Solih himself must resign if JP politicians are forced to resign.