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MDA leaves President Solih to back Dr. Muizzu

27 September 2023, MVT 13:39
PPM/PNC Presidential candidate Muizzu (R) and MDA Leader Siyam (L)
27 September 2023, MVT 13:39

Maldives Development Alliance (MDA) leader Sun Travel Ahmed Siyam has officially broken the MDA coalition with Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) and decided to support opposition candidate, Dr. Mohamed Muizzu.

The decision was taken at an emergency meeting of the MDA Council held last night. As leader of MDA, Siyam had chaired the meeting.

A total of 33 members of the MDA Council have cast their votes in favor of withdrawing their support for the MDP presidential candidate, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, effectively signaling the termination of the coalition with the MDP. Instead, they have chosen to endorse the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and People's National Congress (PNC) presidential candidate, Dr. Muizzu. Two members voted against this decision.

The motion to break the coalition with the MDP and support Dr. Muizzu was submitted by Council Member Mohamed Abbas and backed by Vice President of MDA Ali Mauroof.

Speaking at the council meeting, some of the members highlighted that the people has already made a decision. Mauroof said an opposition candidate winning by a margin of 15,000 votes over an incumbent government with a coalition meant that the people had said yes [to the opposition candidate].

Speaking to the press following the Council meeting, Mauroof disclosed that Siyam had put forth a proposal for the MDA not to support any candidate in the second round of the presidential election, which garnered just one vote in favor. Mauroof also mentioned that Council Member Shuaib had suggested maintaining the coalition with the MDP in the second round, receiving the support of two votes. Additionally, he noted that an overwhelming 97 percent of the members who spoke during the meeting expressed the belief that president Solih would not win the second round of the election.

MDA Vice President Ali Mauroof speaking at the Council meeting held last night

Mauroof further highlighted that the changing political reality within the Maldives where no other party chose to join the coalition with the president in the second round was a major obstacle. He said that MDA members believe that support for Dr. Muizzu has been increasing in the lead up to the second round.

MDA stated that the MDP's lack of response following the disappointing results in the first round, along with the closure of campaign venues in the islands and a 15-day hiatus in campaign activities, suggested that the MDP had essentially conceded defeat.

Mauroof said that, considering the current political landscape, MDA anticipates a substantial victory for Dr. Muizzu in the upcoming second round of the presidential election, scheduled for Saturday. "As our aim is to serve the nation, we have aligned ourselves with the individual we believe will emerge victorious. We have embraced this decision from a national standpoint," he said.

President of the MDA Ahmed Siyam Mohamed

Siyam said that MDA collaborates wholeheartedly with their partners and expressed his confidence that Dr. Muizzu shares a similar commitment to diligent work.

Siyam has been absent from the campaign trail following the relatively low number of votes received by president Solih in the first round, while he had been actively engaged in campaigning during the first round. In contrast, Ali Mauroof and Founding Member Salim have taken on leadership roles within the MDA and have been the prominent figures seen at campaign events for the second round.

With the MDA's decision, made just four days before the election, to withdraw its support, the only remaining coalition partner aligned with MDP or president Solih is Adhaalath Party.