After initially refusing to accept the joint coalition of Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and People's National Congress (PNC) decision not to boycott the presidential election, former President Abdulla Yameen has changed his stance and has endorsed PNC candidate and Malé City Mayor Dr. Mohamed Muizzu.
Yameen's change of opinion was confirmed by former Vice President and leader of Yameen's legal team, Dr. Mohamed Jameel Ahmed.
Dr. Jameel confirmed this via a tweet, stating that Yameen and PPM will support Dr. Muizzu and his running mate Hussain Mohamed Latheef for the election scheduled on September 9.
"The best choice would be for the coalition to nominate a single candidate, and Yameen has acknowledged the senate's decision," Dr. Jameel said.
Dr. Muizzu submitted his candidacy to the Elections Commission (EC) on Monday, August 7. During the ceremony, PNC leader Abdul Raheem Abdulla received a phone call, after which he informed Dr. Muizzu about Yameen's decision to endorse him. The statement was heard by the media officials present at the venue. However, the identity of the caller was unclear.
A Mihaaru News reporter who was present at the venue heard Abdul Raheem saying, "President Yameen has agreed," while shaking hands with Dr. Muizzu and PPM Secretary General Mohamed Tholal.
Shortly after the phone call, Dr. Muizzu handed over his candidacy form to EC Chief Fuad Thaufeeq.
Abdul Raheem later announced that the coalition will host a press conference on Monday, while Dr. Muizzu assured that he will respond to all media questions during the briefing.
PNC leader Dr. Muizzu's running mate, Hussain Mohamed Latheef, and Tholal accompanied the PNC's candidate to Dharubaaruge to submit his candidacy.
Initially, Yameen believed that his fundamental right to participate in the election was infringed upon by the Supreme Court's enforcement of the EC's decision to reject his candidacy. In response to his defeat at the Supreme Court, he urged the PPM/PNC coalition to boycott the election.
However, the coalition convened its joint senate on Sunday, during which a total of 126 participating members cast their votes. Among them, 67 members voted against boycotting the election, while 46 members supported Yameen's plea.
Tensions flared during the senate meeting, leading to heated exchanges among members. While a faction doubted Yameen's intent to call for a boycott, his close allies voiced their opposition to boycott the election.