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MRM still undecided on supporting President in upcoming election

20 March 2023, MVT 11:31
President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih (L) with Former President Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom (R) at a press conference in October 2018, after Solih was elected as President of the Maldives / MIHAARU FILE PHOTO
20 March 2023, MVT 11:31

Former President Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom on Sunday met with President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih at the President's Office to discuss coalition agreements ahead of the presidential election. Gayyoom's Maldives Reform Movement (MRM) is a part of the current ruling coalition.

The President was joined by Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)'s Chairperson and Minister of Economic Affairs Fayyaz Ismail. Accompanying Gayyoom were his son and the President of MRM, Faris Maumoon and the party's Secretary General Abdul Aleem.

At the meeting, the party leadership shared their experience working with the government over the last five years. MRM still remains undecided on whether to support the incumbent President in the upcoming presidential election.

Faris, who was one of the leading figures campaigning for the current administration, told Mihaaru News after the meeting that the party agreed to continue further discussions with MDP.

He said that there were certain matters MRM wanted to ensure before deciding to continue with the coalition for a second term.

"Some of those things 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 prioritized," Faris said.

"If [the government] can guarantee these things, we can reach an agreement. That's mainly what we discussed."

Faris said that most of the meeting was spent discussing the party's experience working with the coalition government. There were issues that all the parties in the coalition agreed to in 2018 when they were elected; Faris said they discussed what has been achieved and the issues that remain unresolved.

"Since there were some breaches of the agreement, we want to know what assurance the government can give [us] that it won't happen again, if we decide to form another agreement," he said.

"We agreed to hold more in-depth discussions with their teams and ours. We disclosed that we'll be continuing talks with other political parties and not just the MDP. The MRM is working to find the most appropriate solution for the people."

In the coalition agreement formed in 2018 ahead of the presidential election that year, MDP was set to receive a 40 percent share of the government, 25 percent to the Jumhooree Party, 20 percent to MRM, and 15 percent to Adhaalath Party.