Jumhooree Party (JP) leader Qasim Ibrahim has called on the opposition to submit a candidate without any run-ins with the regime for the upcoming presidential election.
Qasim said this in a statement, on Sunday, expressing the thoughts of JP and himself regarding the selection of one candidate for the elections.
Qasim said JP believes it is not acceptable for the opposition to select a pair that could pose any risks due to the current political climate in the country.
Qasim said JP is ready to carry out discussions with the opposition regarding a clear pair or pairs and proceed. Therefore, the candidate submitted by the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) should not be one investigated by the police, or have a case filed against them at the Prosecutor General’s office, or have a case filed against them at any court, and should not have held dual-citizenship at any time, Qasim said.
“I am saying this for our safety and the success of the people, after having researched all the information we have acquired. Everyone will witness that some cases filed at the PG office were re-submitted at court”, Qasim said.
Stating that JP is ready to move forward with an individual candidate or one from a party, Qasim said they understand the state of mind of the people and the need to rush the process. However, for the country and its people to reach their destination and attain true independence, it is wiser to cross each hurdle as it comes rather than knowingly jumping into a hole, he said.
Qasim questioned that if all can agree to proceed with risky candidates, then Maumoon Abdul Gayoom can be selected as President, Mohamed Nasheed as Vice-President, Qasim Ibrahim as Speaker of Parliament, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih as Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Sheikh Imran Abdulla as home minister, and Colonel Mohamed Nazim as defence minister.
“They will definitely get enough support from the people, however the current situation cannot be changed. Even though it is hard to digest, this is the truth we are currently facing. In some countries leaders had selected their drivers as their candidates because that is the way it had to be done. Even a clear pair will be harmed, however if we propose two such pairs there is a bigger probability for us to be safe”, the statement read.
Qasim said till date, it can be seen that MDP does not believe any other party candidate deserves to be President, and also doesn’t seem to favor the talks to select a clear candidate. There is no difference in submitting the name of someone who has a case or an investigation against them and submitting Gayoom, Nasheed, Qasim or Sheikh Imran as the candidate.
Qasim said Gayoom was jailed unjustly and Nasheed was deprived of candidacy unjustly, while he himself was sentenced to prison whilst admitted at the hospital, and many members of JP were detained unlawfully including his son Ibrahim Siyad Qasim, who has never participated in politics in his life. Sheikh Imran was also convicted of terrorism unjustly.
Qasim stated that while JP does not want to postpone coalition talks, it is disheartening to see that MDP had decided on a candidate that does not meet the requirements in the current situation.
“While the coalition is working together, it is not right for a specific party to decide on matters not discussed with the rest of the parties as this will portray as a joint decision. JP is ready to do anything necessary to save the people and the country from oppression”, the statement concluded.