President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has said that he is waiting for an official response from the Jumhooree Party (JP) to his invitation to form a coalition in the upcoming presidential election.
He also expressed confidence in winning the election in the first round of voting with the Adhaalath Party and the Maldives Development Alliance's (MDA) support.
So far, the Adhaalath Party and MDA have formally accepted the President's request to form a coalition with the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) for the election. The leaders of all three parties, including President Solih, Adhaalath Party's Leader and the Minister of Home Affairs Imran Abdullah, and MDA's Leader Ahmed Siyam Mohamed, met today at the presidential palace, Muliaage, for the first time since forming the alliance.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, the President said that they discussed launching a campaign and drawing up a manifesto ahead of the presidential election slated for September 8. The three parties can work well together, and the aim so far is to secure the election in one round, he said.
"Our goal is to win the election in a single round. We're very confident and positive about the outlook," Solih said.
When asked about JP's decision to run on its own, the President said that he had extended an official invitation to JP and Maldives Reform Movement (MRM) to join the coalition. He said, despite the fact that JP had announced that it would nominate its own candidate, he will wait for a formal response from the party regarding the coalition.
"I'm waiting for some sort of a formal response from the JP regarding our request," he said. He added that if the JP were to back the MDP-led coalition, they would be able to win the election easily.
Elaborating on the President's remark, MDP's Chairperson Fayyaz Ismail said that they would be able to secure 60 percent of the votes if JP were to join them.
However, Fayyaz, who is also the Minister of Economic Affairs, assured that the coalition would be able to win the election in the first round, even if the JP were to contest on its own.
He anticipates that more parties will join the coalition led by President Solih.
Since announcing that it would nominate its own candidate, the JP has been discussing with other political parties about forming an alliance ahead of the presidential election. The leaders of the JP met with MRM on Monday, though no formal decisions were made. The two parties, along with the Adhaalath party, are part of the ruling coalition government.
MRM has recently held discussions with the President as well; however, the party is yet to announce its stance in the upcoming election. MRM is led by former President Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom.