Former President and President of Maldives Democratic Party (MDP) Mohamed Nasheed stated on Thursday that the current President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih did not endorse candidates other than that of the ruling coalition's main party.
The statement was made during an address given at a meeting endorsing the three MDP candidates running for Fuvahmulah island-atoll's three constituencies.
Nasheed’s declaration comes in response to campaigning carried out by various factions within the ruling coalition for the upcoming Parliament Elections, in which several candidates claimed to be endorsed by President Solih.
Delivering a deliberate snub to the competition, the party leader accused candidates who previously "felt faint at the sight of yellow", of now embellishing their posters with variations of MDP's official colour, their manifesto motifs, down to the party's signature font.
He further stated that there was no divergence between MDP candidates, and the President's sentiments, affirming them to be one and the same, as "President Solih is MDP's own Presidential Candidate, after all".
"President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih will not endorse other candidates [except those from MDP]. Neither will I endorse them. None of you [the audience] will endorse them. The truth is, neither will the people of Maldives", said Nasheed.
"There are no government candidates. There are only those who will support, validate, and reinforce the administration and help realize its pledges. They are the candidates of Maldives Democratic Party, MDP".
MDP's leader elaborated on the importance of acquiring a majority of seats in the Parliament, adding that if that cannot be achieved, it may compromise the judiciary process and diminish public confidence in independent institutions, ultimately leading to an increased likelihood of corruption and even possible deposition.
Calling previous lawmakers out on failing their responsibilities as a constituency representative, Nasheed likened the performance to that of a person who walks into the parliament armed with nothing but a pen cap and yet ends the five-year term with numerous riches in the form of various assets and businesses to their name.
"That is not what Maldivians want. That is not how our [MDP] candidates will fulfil their roles. MDP candidates will serve their constituents loyally, with honour and honesty. They will only seek to fulfil the needs of those they represent", vowed Nasheed.
Nasheed described MDP's 'Agenda 19' manifesto as a tool that will allow the transference of power back to the people, promoting values of decentralization and seeking to provide all Maldivians with a better quality of life. A tool he says, that will improve lives by addressing specific needs raised by dedicated lawmakers.
Claiming that no other party had a clear narrative in the form of a manifesto or mission, Nasheed dubbed Agenda 19 "a complete solution for various issues in Maldives".