Ahmed Saleem (Maaz Saleem), who was independent presidential candidate Umar Naseer’s running mate in the first round of the presidential election, has announced his support for President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s candidacy.
He announced his endorsement at an MDP campaign rally in Hulhumale’ on Thursday evening.
Saleem told Sun that the biggest reason for his decision was because he stands against tyranny.
He said that he was also concerned over the influence of criminal gangs in administrations – which he said he found deeply concerning.
“I believe it my patriotic duty that someone like me, who sees all this, comes out and tells this to the people. To explain all this. It is my duty, my responsibility,” he said.
Saleem said he plans on signing with MDP.
“I will sign, I will sign with MDP,” he said.
Saleem described the administration of former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom as one of tyranny.
He said Yameen did not even leave his own brother alone in his crackdown on political dissent, referring to former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s imprisonment.
Saleem had previously served as a deputy home minister.
Meanwhile, Umar, who Saleem contested the first round with, has announced he does not plan on endorsing either candidate in the election runoff.
A crackdown on gang-related crimes had been one the biggest policies based on which Umar launched his presidential campaign.
Umar won three percent (6,348 votes) in the first round, outperforming presidential candidates backed by political parties.