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Complaints emerge as Ministers support non-PPM/PNC candidates

Footage of state Ministers supporting independent candidates instead of PPM/PNC candidates elected through the coalitions primary elections has spread across social media.

Aishath Shuba Solih
10 February 2024, MVT 17:13
During the PPM/PNC primaries last month
Aishath Shuba Solih
10 February 2024, MVT 17:13

Complaints have emerged that some Ministers are campaigning for other candidates in certain constituencies, even though Progressive Party of Maldives/People's National Congress (PPM/PNC) candidates have been elected and given party tickets to contest the parliamentary elections scheduled for next month.

A video circulating on social media last night showed Islamic Minister, Dr. Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed, Education Minister Dr. Ismail Shafeeu, and Infrastructure Minister Dr. Abdulla Muththalib arriving at Gadhdhoo to gain support for an independent candidate, Mohamed Ali, in the Gadhdhoo constituency.

The official candidate for the Gadhdhoo constituency, Mahmoodh Shafeeq (Mahaa), secured the party ticket during the primary elections held by the coalition party last month. However, it is unclear why these Ministers are campaigning for an independent candidate when an official candidate from the party has already been elected. Mihaaru News questioned Dr. Shaheem about this, but he refrained from providing any comments.

The people who posted the footage on social media expressed disappointment with the ministers' stance against the ruling party's official candidate.

While a video of some ministers supporting an independent candidate instead of the official candidate from the Gaddhoo constituency went viral, another video showed two ministers from the President's Office stating that the government has decided to support independent candidate Ahmed Riyaz, brother of Abdulla Riyaz, who currently represents the constituency, instead of Ibrahim Sanaah (Santo), who secured the ruling coalition's primary from Thimarafushi constituency.

In the video, two Ministers from the President's Office, Adam Rameez and Abdulla Naseer, announced their decision to support Riyaz, stating that President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu has also assured his approval for the independent candidate.

With the circulation of this video, the campaign team of Sanaah expressed concerns at a meeting held last night at Thimarafushi.

Responding to a question inquiring whether President Muizzu commented on these rumors during the meeting last night, which was also attended by the residents of the island, Sanaah said that the President's answer was very clear and that he backed Sanaah's candidacy long in advance. He added that he had not been informed of the President's decision to withdraw his support so far.

"As such, I don’t have better evidence than this. Documents state that the party stands behind me. That this [ticket] has been given to me. I have not been instructed to return the ticket," Sanaah said in response to a question by a resident.

PPM/PNC coalition has not officially commented on the matter and has been unresponsive to questions.