Jumhooree Party (JP), The Democrats, and Maldives National Party (MNP) have reached an agreement to nominate a single candidate for the upcoming presidential election this year.
Following a meeting held at the Jumhooree Party office this afternoon to discuss cooperation in the presidential election, the leader of Jumhooree Party, Qasim Ibrahim, announced that the three parties had reached an agreement to nominate a single candidate.
During a press conference, he further mentioned that the next step would involve discussions with the largest opposition party, the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), and the Maldives Reform Movement (MRM).
"We have agreed in principle today that all three parties will engage in negotiations, including discussions with PPM and MRM, in order to nominate a single candidate. If we can reach an agreement, we have decided, together with the leaders of the three parties, to proceed in that direction," he said.
When repeatedly questioned by reporters about whether Qasim was the chosen candidate, he responded by stating that he was prepared to step aside if he was not the agreed-upon candidate by the parties.
"If it isn't me, I would step back and endorse the candidate who is nominated," Qasim said.
MNP president Mohamed Nazim said that considering the current situation in the country, it would be the most beneficial to field a single candidate to contest the election.
"That is why the three parties have reached an agreement today," he said.
While Qasim and Nazim stated that the three parties had agreed to nominate a single candidate, former President and current Speaker of Parliament Mohamed Nasheed stated that discussions regarding the matter were still ongoing. Nasheed did not confirm his agreement to the nomination of a single candidate. Furthermore, Nasheed abruptly left the venue during the press conference.
Qasim and Nasheed have previously engaged in discussions about collaborating and working together.