Housing Minister Mohamed Aslam has extended an invitation to members of The Democrats, the new political party formed by members who defected from main ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), to rejoin the government and partake in efforts to elect President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih for a second term in office.
Major disagreements between President Solih and Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed escalated earlier this year. Subsequently, supporters of Nasheed left MDP and formed a new political party, The Democrats, which is now contesting the upcoming presidential elections independently.
Speaking at a campaign rally held at L. Gan on Monday night – Aslam said there was no doubt whether President Solih could win the election in one round based on the support witnessed during his campaign visits to the islands. He described individuals hoping the election will go for a second round as ‘idiots’.
“Please come. Some of them are individuals with really similar ideologies, who are very close to us. Please come. We are still with you. We are friends still, close people. We are not enemies,” he said.
Referring to members who had defected from MDP, Aslam said although they were a bit distanced politically at present, he knows their thinking will change once again. He welcomed members who have already rejoined MDP, after leaving, citing it was an act necessary for the sake of the nation.
Aslam said their efforts were linked to electing a leader who is intellectual and prioritizes the nation.
On this note, he said efforts to elect President Solih had been initiated as it is the best course of action for the nation. He stressed that President Solih’s re-election was the best course of action for the opposition Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM).
“PPM members will know this is how it will unfold. They have no candidate. There is only a candidate from PNC. They are using their color. I hope the smarter people among them, after careful consideration, make a decision on this,” he said.
Aslam, citing second terms had been given to presidents in developed countries because of the work they have done in their first term, described President Solih as such an individual.
“There is no candidate who can compete with us based on things that have been done,” he added.