The political landscape in the Maldives is witnessing an interesting development as the main opposition coalition, comprising the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and the People’s National Congress (PNC), along with the newly formed party, The Democrats, are exploring avenues of collaboration ahead of the upcoming presidential election. While both groups have expressed their intention to contest the election separately, they have also indicated a willingness to support a joint candidate if the need arises.
The Democrats, spearheaded by former Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) president Mohamed Nasheed, has been actively engaging with the PPM-PNC alliance in an effort to topple the government of President Ibrahim Mohammed Solih. Several meetings have taken place between the two parties to discuss potential areas of cooperation. During a press conference held on Sunday at the Ocean Library, representatives from The Democrats and the PPM-PNC coalition addressed questions from reporters.
Hussain Amr, former managing director of the State Trading Organization (STO) and a representative of The Democrats, responded to queries about the possibility of fielding a single candidate. He clarified that while The Democrats will indeed field their own candidate, they are open to supporting a joint candidate if it serves the purpose of defeating President Solih. Amr emphasized the party’s commitment to removing President Solih from power and highlighted the importance of a collaborative approach to achieve this goal.
Regarding the specific candidate The Democrats would support, Amr did not directly mention former President Abdulla Yameen, who is widely perceived as the PPM candidate. Instead, he stated that The Democrats have not yet finalized their candidate and that their current focus is on removing President Solih from office.
Representing the PPM-PNC coalition, Ibrahim Shujau, Vice-President of the PNC and councillor of Hulhumale, echoed Amr’s sentiments. Shujau clarified that the discussions held thus far have not included the topic of nominating a single candidate. However, he emphasized that Yameen has consistently been the PPM candidate, indicating that this stance remains unchanged.
Interestingly, Ocean Weekly, a weekly newspaper affiliated with Nasheed’s Ocean Publishing, published an article suggesting that both parties are considering the possibility of fielding a joint candidate who would be neither Nasheed nor Yameen. This development adds a layer of intrigue to the ongoing discussions between The Democrats and the PPM-PNC coalition.
As the political dynamics continue to evolve in the Maldives, the potential collaboration between these opposition parties sets the stage for an exciting and closely contested presidential election. The decision to support a joint candidate, if it materializes, could significantly impact the electoral landscape and pose a formidable challenge to President Solih’s incumbency.