Economic Minister Fayyaz Ismail, who won Maldives Democratic Party's (MDP) chairperson's election held on Saturday, said that the vote cast by MDP members across the country was a vote to win the 2023 Presidential election with the current government and the party.
Interim results of the election show Fayyaz defeated the other candidate, Parliament member for the Maafannu North constituency, Imthiyaz Fahmy.
Fayyaz thanked MDP members for the win and said that he would continue to ensure the make pledges are implemented. During the campaign, he proposed to MDP his vision to re-strengthen the party
"The vote by MDP members today was a vote cast to in support to the government and for our efforts to win 2023 [elections]," Fayyaz said.
In a special interview given to Mihaaru news prior to the election he said that he believes the only way MDP can win the 2023 Presidential Election is if President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih competes for a second term. Even though President Solih has yet to declare his intention to run in the 2023 Presidential Election, Fayyaz expressed his hope that he would. He said he would work to ensure he wins the seat as well.
Fayyaz said the main aim of running for the chairperson position is to win the election for MDP. As chairperson, he would work to prevent Maldives an unjust government from coming into office, he said.
MDP's chairperson is elected for a five year term.
He said if the party had supported government, a second MDP presidency could have been won without the help of another political party. The current administration is an MDP lead coalition administration.
Fayyaz said that even though MDP won the parliament majority, the government was weakened by the party's continuous in-fighting.
He said that MDP can win 2023 only if President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih ran for the presidency position.
"This may be difficult for some people to believe. But this is what I see as the truth now."
He said the people that he met while campaigning had expressed these sentiments as well. He additionally said that this view does not reflect badly on any other candidate either.
Parliament Speaker and former President Mohamed Nasheed has said that he would be running in MDP's primary for a presidential candidate. Even though President Solih has yet to announce his intention, Fayyaz's support lie with him.
Over 94,000 people were eligible to vote in this election. Fayyaz won it with 58 percent of the total voters.