President of the People's National Congress (PNC), Abdul Raheem Abdulla, said on Friday that he is willing to repeat for the thousandth time that the opposition coalition's presidential candidate would be former President Abdulla Yameen.
PNC and the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), as the opposition coalition, have declared former President Yameen as their presidential candidate. However, Yameen was found guilty of money laundering and bribery last year and has been sentenced to 11 years in jail, in addition to being fined USD five million.
Speaking at the rally held at Malé Rasfannu beach area in Maafannu ward, Abdul Raheem Abdul Raheem requested that no one doubt the PPM/PNC's presidential candidate.
"Do not even try to discuss the matter. PPM-PNC's presidential candidate is President Abdulla Yameen Abdulla Qayoom. That hasn't changed. There is no one to listen if anyone tries to discuss the matter further," Abdul Raheem said.
He said that there are many reasons why the country's youth, women, and elderly want Yameen to come back to power. He went on to say that Yameen was needed in office so that they could achieve development goals and prevent foreign armies from taking over the country.
Therefore, those who are trying to come to power by walking in Yameen's shadow or getting the coalition's support are only "dreaming it," he said.
"I want to reiterate today that you should stop dreaming. There is no way there will not be a presidential candidate from PPM-PNC in this election. Even if we have to say that the candidate is President Abduall Yameen a 1,000 times, we are ready to repeat it."
He maintains that none of the party's supporters should be disappointed these days.
The present government has failed due to internal conflicts, and the opposition coalition's supporters can be credited for this disruption, he said.
He reiterated that the appeal in the high court would end in Yameen's favour and that he would be free to contest the presidential election.
Opposition parties staged demonstrations in Malé and other parts of the country on Friday demanding Yameen's release. The rally in Malé was disrupted by the police.