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MRM prepared to contest presidential election without coalition, says Faris

20 March 2023, MVT 16:43
MRM President Faris Maumoon greeting the press ahead of the meeting with Jumhooree Party's Leader Qasim Ibrahim, at H.Fulidhoo in Malé, on 20th March 2023. PHOTO: FAYAZ MOOSA / MIHAARU
20 March 2023, MVT 16:43

The Maldives Reform Movement (MRM) is ready to face the upcoming presidential election on its own, the party's president Ahmed Faris Maumoon said on Monday.

Speaking to Mihaaru news after a meeting with the Jumhooree Party's (JP) leader, Qasim Ibrahim, Faris said that if no party's beliefs coincide with MRM's, they are ready to move forward with the election on their own.

"The bottom line is that MRM can contest the election on its own too. It is not an obligation that we have to go into the election with another party. We don't have to sacrifice our principles because we might get a [percentage]," Faris said.

The meeting was held at the former President Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom's office in Fulidhoo building in the Henveiru ward of Malé, upon Qasim's request. Maumoon, who is now an advisor at MRM, also took part in the meeting.

Meanwhile, the JP's council has granted Qasim, their presidential candidate, complete authority to consult with other political parties to form a coalition if he sees it as necessary.

"Qasim discussed MRM's potential role in a government led by the JP. We said we are interested in further discussions, so Qasim appointed three people on his behalf to hold more in-depth conversations between the two parties," Faris said, elaborating on today's discussion.

Faris, who is Maumoon's eldest son, said that it would be difficult to move forward with the election without holding comprehensive discussions with the major parties.

"We also have a 'policy package'. We're preparing a manifesto. We'll consider all these options and choose the best solution. We don't have to move forward with anyone who can't find that solution. We're ready to nominate our own candidate and move forward."

There are rumors and speculations that Faris is going to be the MRM presidential candidate for the September 9 election. However, he has not commented on the matter yet.

On Sunday, MRM met with President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih at the President's Office. The MRM agreed to hold more in-depth discussions with the President, who is vying for a second term in office.

According to Faris, MRM's requirements include maintaining the independence and sovereignty of this nation, respecting our religion, and upholding Islamic principles. "There were previously agreed-upon matters, such as reforming the criminal justice system and countering corruption, as well as elevating the living conditions of the people, that we wanted to ensure were being prioritised," Faris had said after the meeting with the President.

While MRM is a part of the ruling coalition with a 20 percent stake in the government, it has not made any formal decisions regarding the election yet.