Former home minister Umar Naseer has resigned from Jumhoory Party (JP) to run in the upcoming Presidential Elections 2018.
Umar, who joined JP in December 2017, revealed that he was leaving the opposition party to compete in the upcoming elections as an independent candidate.
According to Jumhoory Party’s charter, the leader of the party is by default the presidential candidate. However, Jumhoory Party's leader Qasim Ibrahim is currently sentenced to three years in jail under bribery charges, rendering him ineligible to run in the elections. He has been declared a state fugitive after he refused to return to the Maldives after authorities gave him leave to seek medical aid from abroad.
Whilst JP and main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) are working in coalition, Umar has been critical of MDP, with the main opposition retorting back.
Umar had joined first the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), after running in the presidential elections as the candidate of Islamic Democratic Party (IDP) in 2008, which he lost to MDP candidate and former President Mohamed Nasheed. He had then run in the primary elections of PPM in 2013 and lost to incumbent President Yameen Abdul Gayoom. Umar had resigned from PPM shortly after.
However, President Yameen had appointed Umar as the home minister after his term at office began.