Former President Mohamed Nasheed has decided to relinquish the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)’s presidential ticket.
Nasheed, who secured MDP’s ticket unopposed in a nationwide primary, chose to relinquish the presidential ticket as he might not be allowed to compete in the election.
In a message sent to the joint parties’ PG WhatsApp group, Nasheed stated that he opted to give up the ticket as he feared MDP might not have any candidate competing in the election as the Elections Commission (EC) had repeatedly said that Nasheed would not be allowed to compete.
Nasheed said he would officially announce the decision at the party’s 3rd National Congress held on Saturday.
Rumors had previously spread that in the case that Nasheed is unable to run, the party’s PG leader Ibrahim Mohamed Solih would be the chosen candidate to run in his stead. With Nasheed no longer a contender, some senior members of MDP had officially declared their support for the PG leader.
These include North Henveiru MP and former Speaker of Parliament Abdulla Shahid, who announced that he had decided to support MDP’s PG leader in order to uphold the unity of the party. Shahid decided to support MDP’s PG leader although he had previously shown an interest in contesting if Nasheed withdraws the ticket.
Nasheed had decided against running after previously stating on several occasions that he would be allowed to compete and will also win the presidential election.
Nasheed was sentenced to 13 years in prison after being convicted of ordering the “arrest or forceful abduction and detention” of the Chief Justice in 2012. After leaving to the United Kingdom (UK) on medical leave, Nasheed is frequently seen in Sri Lanka as of late.