Former Minister of Home Affairs Umar Naseer has collected the required amount of signatories in order to submit his presidential candidacy application. The former minister, on Monday, disclosed that he had collected the 1,500 signatories needed to attest public support of his candidacy as an independent candidate in the upcoming presidential elections.
Umar took to Facebook to express his appreciation for the volunteers' efforts and thanked over 2,200 signatories for recognizing him as a presidential candidate. Furthermore, he revealed that he will announce a decision on his candidacy within the week.
Umar further disclosed policies addressing violent crimes, substance abuse, ending corruption, an MVR 10 billion investment fund, and his pledge to solve the housing crisis, ‘Heyo Hiyaa’.
Whilst the political spectrum is polarized by ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and opposition coalition parties, when asked if it was possible to succeed in the election as an independent candidate, Umar responded by declaring anything as possible in this political arena and that the question can only be answered on the day of the election.
While Umar has announced his presidential candidacy, Election Commission guidelines state that any candidate with a decreed debt would not be allowed to contest.
In December 2016, Maldives Pension Administration Office (MPAO) had filed a case against Tourist Whale Submarine Pvt Ltd, of which Umar was a stockholder. The court ruled in favour of MPAO, ordering Tourist Whale Submarine to pay MVR 1.8 million as retirement pension money. Umar has since transferred his share and debt over to his wife and kids, exempting him from the Election Commission's guidelines.
Umar had earlier failed twice in the run for presidency. The former minister contested in the 2008 Presidential Elections against former President Mohamed Nasheed of main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), before again running against incumbent President Yameen Abdul Gayoom for the PPM electoral ticket in the 2013 elections.