President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom has accepted the invitation to the presidential debate ahead of the upcoming 2018 presidential elections slated for September 23.
A debate is to be held regarding the political party manifestos by the end of August, and later a debate between the presidential candidates in September ahead of the elections. However, the dates of the debates are yet to be announced.
The ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM)'s deputy leader and Fonadhoo MP Abdul Raheem Abdulla announced via a tweet, on Saturday, that President Yameen has accepted the invitation to the debate.
Opposition coalition's presidential candidate and Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)'s parliamentary group leader Ibrahim Mohamed Solih (Ibu), who is contesting against President Yameen in the 2018 elections, has also been invited to the presidential debate. However, main opposition MDP is yet to officially announce whether Solih accepted the invitation.
Whilst Solih has not officially accepted the invitation to the presidential debate, the opposition coalition presidential candidate had earlier stated, on a programme aired by local RaajjeTV, that he was ready to face a debate against President Yameen.
Maldives National University (MNU), which is hosting the debate, has revealed that the university will be researching and preparing questions for both presidential candidates during the debate.
Vice chancellor of MNU Ali Fawaz Shareef further stated that the purpose of the presidential debate is to further keep the public fully informed and have a better understanding of the candidates ahead of the upcoming 2018 elections.