Incumbent president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom has the unanimous support of government coalition lawmakers for re-election, chief government lawmaker Ahmed Nihan Hussain Manik said Wednesday adding that the ruling party must 'gift' the presidential ticket to Yameen without a primary.
Speaking to reporters after president Yameen's meeting with the government coalition lawmakers including PPM and coalition partner Maldives Development Alliance (MDA), the Villi-Maafannu MP insisted that there was nothing wrong with giving the PPM ticket to president Yameen.
"We all feel that president Yameen should have the 2018 presidential ticket without having to contest a primary. If there is a lawmaker who disagrees, he or she should come out and state a reason," Nihan added.
PPM council in June had signed a letter to leader Maumoon Abdul Gayoom urging the ex-president to gift the ticket to his half brother.
However, the elder Gayoom had rejected the request insisting that he would not violate the democratic values within the party.
According to PPM’s charter, a presidential candidate must be elected through a party primary which must be held three to six months before the presidential elections.
The refusal has since led to a bitter rift between the two brothers and has caused deep divisions within the ruling party.
Yameen's former home minister meanwhile has announced his intention to run in the 2018 presidential elections.
Umar Naseer, immediately after stepping down in July has been rallying support for the PPM presidential primary as he looks to lock horns with his former boss.
Umar lost out on the presidential primary to Yameen who eventually went on to win the 2013 elections.
He was subsequently suspended from PPM after publicly criticizing Yameen.
Umar had supported Jumhooree Party (JP) candidate and business tycoon Gasim Ibrahim in the presidential elections and secured a cabinet post on a JP slot.