Ex-VP Faisal returns to MDP

Former vice president Faisal Naseem joins MDP on February 22, 2024. (Photo/MDP)

Former vice president Faisal Naseem signed to main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) on Thursday.

Faisal, who had been with Qasim Ibrahim’s Jumhoory Party (JP) for over 16 years after his first tint with MDP, resigned from JP on January 21st.

Faisal presented his membership form to former president Ibrahim Mohamed Solih during a ceremony held at MDP's office on Thursday. The ceremony was also attended by the party’s chairperson Fayyaz Ismail.

After signing to MDP, Faisal cited the main opposition party as party that had taught him politics and policies, in addition to how to work alongside people.

“No changes to the ideology. No changes to the policies. Have undertaking one work, one work, in the past 20 years or so,” he said.

Faisal, underscoring the need for everyone to unite and work together, cited MDP as the party that works the most closely with the people and as how they aspire. He emphasized the need to work together to secure the majority in the upcoming parliamentary election for the sake of the nation.

Solih, who also spoke at the ceremony, described Faisal as an individual who had worked honestly and tirelessly during his administration.

“A person I can trust. As I see it, Faisal joining this party is an additional push and a renewed vigor,” he said.

Faisal began his political career in 2004, as the representative for the Fuvahmulah constituency in the Special Parliament. In 2005, he joined the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP).

But in 2008, he left the MDP to join JP, after Qasim announced his presidential candidacy and formed his own party.

Faisal later took a break from politics, but re-entered politics in 2014, when he won the Kaashidhoo seat at the Parliament on a JP ticket.

In 2018, the then-opposition coalition decided to back one presidential candidate, and JP – which was the second-largest party in the coalition – received the chance to choose a running mate.

Faisal won an internal poll and became the running mate of MDP’s Solih, who would go on to win the election.

Faisal was the country’s ninth vice president, and the only one to complete a full term, since the enactment of the new constitution.