In a decisive move, the Jumhooree Party (JP) has declared its neutrality and will not endorse any candidate in the forthcoming presidential runoff in the Maldives. The announcement came after a deliberative party council meeting held at the JP headquarters in the capital city of Male.
The JP, led by Maamigili MP Qasim Ibrahim, who secured 5,460 votes in the first round of the presidential election on September 9, reached this decision during an extensive two-hour discussion among its members.
The meeting, attended by 68 members, considered two key proposals:
- Backing a Candidate: The first proposal debated whether the JP should throw its support behind a candidate in the runoff. However, only 16 members supported this proposal.
- Delegating Decision-Making to Qasim: The second proposal suggested granting Qasim Ibrahim the authority to decide whether to support a candidate in the second round. This motion passed resoundingly with 66 votes in favor.
Following the adoption of the second proposal, Qasim Ibrahim confirmed that the JP would not endorse any candidate in the presidential runoff. This decision marks a significant development in the political landscape of the Maldives, as the JP’s stance had been the subject of intense negotiations between the two main contenders, the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) and the People’s National Congress/Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM-PNC).
In recent days, both President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and Dr. Mohamed Muizz, the presidential candidates of the MDP and PPM-PNC respectively, held discussions with Qasim Ibrahim and JP officials in an effort to secure the party’s support. President Solih even traveled to Qasim’s Sun Island Resort, where negotiations took place from Wednesday until Friday.
JP’s decision to remain neutral introduces a new dynamic into the presidential runoff scheduled for September 30. With the JP opting not to endorse a candidate, both President Solih and Dr. Muizz will need to intensify their efforts to secure a majority of the electorate’s support in this crucial second round of voting.