The People’s National Congress (PNC)/Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), which secured the most votes in the initial round of the presidential election, has firmly rejected the idea of forming a coalition with the Jumhooree Party (JP) for the upcoming runoff. This decision comes after explicit instructions from PPM’s leader, former President Abdulla Yameen, who is currently incarcerated.
The intrigue surrounding potential coalitions deepened as it became apparent that the invitation to form a coalition with JP, led by Qasim Ibrahim, had only been extended by President Solih. While the JP eagerly anticipated a response from the PPM, sources within both parties have confirmed that the PPM has yet to reach out to the JP regarding coalition talks.
The reasons behind this rejection appear to be multifaceted. High-ranking officials from both JP and PPM have pointed to the JP’s performance in the first round, which yielded a lower share of the vote. This outcome has evidently influenced the PPM’s decision, as it appears unwilling to grant the JP a slice of the government pie.
A leader from Dr. Mohamed Muizzu’s campaign, speaking anonymously, shed light on the situation, explaining, “While every vote is crucial in the upcoming runoff, we have no intention of forming a coalition that would entail sharing the government with the JP. If we consider forming a coalition with Qasim, his terms would likely be exceedingly challenging. In the past, coalition agreements have involved granting him lagoons and ministerial positions. This time, we are not inclined to entertain such terms.”
The PNC/PPM’s firm stance against a coalition with the JP sets the stage for an intriguing showdown as parties maneuver to secure the upper hand in the runoff. With the dynamics of the election rapidly evolving, political observers keenly await further developments that will shape the destiny of the Maldivian presidency.