Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed has stated that he will not back the opposition Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), or President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, if he does not win the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)’s presidential primary.
A video of Nasheed having a conversation with some of his supporters at a party hub during his recent campaign trail to local atolls, circulated on social media on Monday. In the video, MDP’s President was asked whether he would stand with PPM or his opponent, the incumbent President, if he loses the upcoming election.
Nasheed very firmly states that he will not stand with the main opposition party, and that he would not back Solih either.
“I will not side with PPM – that’s a 100 percent [guarantee], I will not side with PPM, but I will also not side with Ibrahim Mohamed Solih,” Nasheed said.
The individual who posed the question can be heard asking Nasheed what his response meant, and the former president replied, “I can just stay home then.”
Nasheed elaborated his reasoning colloquially to the group of people that were at the party hub.
“39,000 people were expelled because they might vote for me. Those who were expelled include my brother, my mother; even Laila [Nasheed’s ex-wife] was expelled,” he said. Nasheed said that the 39,000 members who were axed from the party are disheartened, and that they would not want to join the party again.
Throughout the campaign, Nasheed has maintained that MDP’s registry was tampered with after the party congress last year and that a large portion of his supporters were targeted and expelled.
Earlier on Monday, at a press conference in Malé, Nasheed praised the opposition’s candidate and former President Abdulla Yameen. “President Yameen is an intellectual. He is an academic. He has an awareness and a vision. I don’t think he is that different,” Nasheed had said, adding that he could not say the same about Solih. However, he also criticised Yameen’s “India Out” campaign and called it xenophobic.
MDP’s presidential primary will be held on January 28.