Maduvvari MP Adam Shareef Umar, who lost a vote taken by the People’s National Congress (PNC) to select a presidential candidate to Male’ City mayor Dr. Mohamed Muizzu on Thursday, states that the former housing minister has his full support.
Speaking to Sun after the vote, Adam Shareef said that he will do everything in his power to free former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom and ensure the opposition coalition wins the election.
“I will do everything necessary to free President Yameen and ensure Dr. Muizzu wins the election,” he said.
PNC – the coalition partner of the main opposition Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), decided to contest the upcoming election after the Elections Commission (EC) rejected the candidacy of PPM’s leader due to his criminal conviction for money laundering and bribery.
Yameen has contested the EC’s decision with the Supreme Court, and asked the coalition to produce a presidential candidate from PNC as a “backup.”
Speaking to press after Thursday’s vote, Adam Shareef said the election shows Yameen’s democratic values.
“Though a prisoner, President Yameen remains the strongest, most democratic leader,” he said.
Adam Shareef said the results of the vote proves the opposition coalition will win the September 9 election.
Muizzu won Thursday’s vote against Madduvari MP Adam Shareef Umar with a slim margin of 25-23.
Both Adam Shareef and Muizzu had served as members of Yameen’s cabinet during his administration, with Muizzu serving as housing minister.
Muizzu had been PPM’s deputy leader, but switched to PNC on Thursday to enter the party’s presidential primary.
Yameen was sentenced to 11 years in prison for money laundering and bribery in connection to the sale of V. Aarah for resort development on December 25, 2022.
The EC rejected Yameen’s candidacy due to his conviction, citing Article 109 (f) of the Constitution, which disqualifies candidates who have been sentenced to over 12 months in prison for a crime, unless it has been at least three years since they have completed their sentence or have been pardoned.
The PPM-PNC leadership had asked Yameen to select a presidential candidate from PNC at his own discretion thrice. However, he declined the request all three times, leaving it to the senate to decide.