Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has commenced its third special congress at AA. Ukulhas today.
In addition to the MDP party leadership and parliament members, the largest opposition party in the Maldivian political arena has welcomed over 1500 attendees from different islands and atolls across the Maldives.
The island’s harbour has been streaked in yellow for the event, with MDP flags drawn across the island entrance.
A ‘conference hall’ has also been erected especially for the occasion, as well as dedicated tents for meals and refreshments.
The representatives attending the event were warmly greeted as they arrived to the island.
However, in the style of a ‘political eid’ that has engulfed the island of Ukulhas, anticipation continues to run rife regarding the pivotal decisions that are expected to be made at the congress meeting this afternoon.
The most significant decision is widely believed to be the declaration of the party’s presidential candidate for the September 23rd electoral race.
The decision comes in the wake of former president Mohamed Nasheed (Anni)’s recent forfeit of the MDP presidential ticket due to factors barring his eligibility.
Nasheed stated that his decision to forfeit the presidential ticket for the upcoming elections was made in answer to rising concerns that MDP may not have a candidate, should the Elections Commission nullify his candidacy.
It is widely speculated that instead of Nasheed, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih (Ibu) will contest in the upcoming elections. An official statement regarding Ibu’s candidacy is expected to be issued at the MDP congress as well.
The event will mark the launching of MDP’s manifesto for the 2018 presidential elections, and is also expected to involve significant changes to the party’s general regulations.
Party leader Mohamed Nasheed as well as MDP’s vice president Mohamed Shifaz, will be making a formal address to the congress.
Prior to the congress, the opposition coalition have agreed to put forth a presidential candidate representing the Maldives Democratic Party (MDP) accompanied by a running mate from Jumhooree Party (JP) to contest in the upcoming presidential elections.
However, the date for announcing JP’s candidate for running mate has not yet been confirmed.
People of Ukulhas believe that MDP’s congress will provide several business opportunities as Maldives and several international bodies will be closely following this event.
In the words of Ukulhas citizen Ahmed Hameed, as most of the people in the island are invested in budget travel businesses, the congress presents an opportunity to promote tourism to the island. He added that in his opinion, this is yet another reason strengthening the islanders belief in MDP’s vision.