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Not an obstacle for Pres Solih if MP Qasim runs for president: Miuwan

Lamya Abdulla
17 March 2023, MVT 13:07
(FILE) President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih (L) and JP Leader Qasim Ibrahim during the Opening Ceremony of Judicial Year, on February 18, 2019 -- Photo: Nishan Ali / Mihaaru
Lamya Abdulla
17 March 2023, MVT 13:07

The Spokesperson at the President's Office, Miuwan Mohamed, said on Thursday that the Jumhooree Party's Leader, Qasim Ibrahim, running in the presidential election will not be an obstacle to President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

Speaking at the weekly press conference held at the Presidential Office, Miuwan responded to a reporter's question by saying that if JP, a part of the current ruling coalition, brings forward a candidate for the presidential election, then President Solih would have discussions with both JP and its leader Qasim on how to move forward.

President Solih extended an invitation to a number of political parties, including the JP, to join him in an alliance as he runs for a second term in office; however, on Tuesday, the JP said they would run for the election separately. The party is now accepting applications until March 30 from its members interested in running in the party's primary election.

Since the JP switched alliances, there is now widespread uncertainty about the fate of JP members appointed to political positions within the administration.

Miuwan said the President's priority is serving the people, and therefore he will go forward with those who support this goal. However, he noted that there would be obstacles if political appointees within the current administration worked against the president or alongside other competitors.

"It is not a challenge to the president [to compete against Qasim]. We are confident we can win the election with the current allies we have within the coalition," Miuwan said.

There have been claims that parties do not wish to aid President Solih in remaining in office for a second term because they believe the coalition agreement made in 2018 has been violated. This includes the distribution of political jobs among the coalition partners.

However, Miuwan reiterates that President Solih is acting in accordance to the coalition agreement.

Even though the Adhaalath Party and the Maldives Development Alliance (MDA) have given an affirmative response to President Solih's invitation to join him in a coalition, the Maldives Reform Movement (MRM), a member party of the current coalition administration, have not yet provided a definitive answer on the matter.