Maldivian President Ibrahim Solih has won the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party’s primary ahead of the October 2023 Maldivian Presidential election. But Solih’s win in Saturday’s primary has not been accepted by his opponent, former Maldivian President and the current parliament Speaker, Mohamed Nasheed.

Nasheed’s supporters told this correspondent that the primary was flawed because 39,000 party men or 40% of the MDP’s membership, had been deleted from the rolls ahead of the primary.

The deletions were tenable in some cases but grossly untenable in others, they said. While it was reasonable to remove names of people who were members of other parties also, it was unreasonable to remove people for the sole reason that their fingerprints were not in the party records, said Hamid Ghafoor, the former International Spokesman of the MDP.

“Some whose fingerprints were not there are senior members of the MDP  who had voted in every party election in the past. I am one of them,” Ghafoor said

“Solih now heads a government with Qasim Ibrahim’s Jumhooree party, Abdul Gayoom’s Maumun Reform Movement Party and the Adaalath Party, as allies. These parties will surely contest the Presidential election against Solih. Qasim has always contested elections and Gayoom has said parties exist to contest elections. If they do contest, and Nasheed has the support of those who had been denied voting rights in the MDP plus the support of the masses outside, he will win,” Ghafoor predicted.

Maldives is in for an interesting time also because the Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) headed by former President Abdulla Yameen is very active, though Yameen is in jail for high corruption.

“Every night PPM cadres are holding street demonstrations demanding their leader’s release,” Ghafoor said.

Yameen represents the anti-India and pro-China section of Maldivians. He had carried out a long drawn out “India Out” campaign against the Indian military presence in the Maldives. Yameen’s party will further split the voters, throwing the Presidential contest wide open.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here