Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed, who contested in the Maldives Democratic Party (MDP)'s primary election has accepted that the party's presidential primary was won by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.
In a message to an MDP WhatsApp group on Monday, Nasheed wrote that President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih would lose a lot of votes if the "election fraud was excluded". However, Nasheed said the president could win by a narrow margin if the voters list were to be accounted for.
Nasheed wrote that the President will not win this year's presidential election even if he wins the primary.
“I propose to re-establish MDP branches in all islands under "Fikurrege Dhirun" and rejoin over 39,000 people who were dismissed from the party and see where to go from there,” Nasheed said.
"A presidential candidate by "Fikuregge Dhirun" will be determined later".
Nasheed's slogan "Fikuregge Dhirun" roughly translates to revival of an ideology.
Nasheed said a candidate who agrees to switch to a parliamentary system before the presidential election would be easy to support.
Responding to his message, MDP Chairman, Economic Minister Fayyaz Ismail said in the group that he would like Nasheed to reconsider his proposal.
"I don't believe you can do that without changing the party's rules and regulations. The winner of the [presidential] ticket is the party's presidential candidate," Fayyaz said.
During the MDP primary election campaign, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has said that he supports a presidential system.
“We will not try to rule in a parliamentary system,” he said.
The two sides exchanged heavy verbal attacks in the most competitive internal election ever held by a political party in the Maldives. The President has said that no matter how competitive the campaign has been, he is still ready to work together.