Siyam has ‘no interest’ in becoming president’s running mate

MDA's leader Ahmed Siyam Mohamed (L) with President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih (R).

Ahmed Siyam Mohamed, leader of the Maldives Development Alliance (MDA) – which is backing President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s re-election – states he has no interest in becoming the president’s running mate.

Siyam returned to Male’ on Friday night, after appearing before the Singapore International Arbitration Center in the legal battle between his company Sun Siyam Travels and the international hotel chain, Hilton.

Speaking to reporters at the airport, Siyam said he did not have “the least bit of interest” in becoming the president’s running mate in the upcoming election, but said he would do it, if it became “necessary”.

“I do not have the least bit of interest in becoming the running mate. But I will do it if it becomes necessary,” he said.

MDA's leader Ahmed Siyam Mohamed speaks to press on July 21, 2023. (Sun Photo/Mohamed Shathiu Abdulla)

Siyam has been accompanying the president in his campaign tours across Maldives.

President Solih has yet to announce his running mate, a decision which he has described as “difficult.”

The president said he has been receiving multiple nominations from within his own party, the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP). He has stated that he has been having a hard time choosing one.

The competition within the main ruling party to become the president’s running mate is high. However, choosing one from the MDP could create further conflict within the party – which recently saw scores of members, including its former leader Mohamed Nasheed, leave the party to form a new one.

The president’s current VP Faisal Naseem has also expressed interest in becoming his running mate again.

Faisal is the only VP to complete a full term since Maldives became a republic.

The president is expected to make his decision soon.