Maldivian President Mohamed Waheed on Monday formally announced his candidature for the September Presidential elections and has chosen civil servant-turned politician Ahmed Thasmeen Ali as his running mate.

Mr. Thasmeen heads the Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP). He had visited India last year and had met with the top leadership, including Prime Minister Mamohan Singh.

Mr. Waheed on Monday officially began his campaign under the theme of ‘Going Forward with the Nation’, at the ceremony here.

The President will lead a team of coalition partners to the northern island of Naifaru in Lhaviyani Atoll later in the day. The team is expected to visit Kulhudhuffushi of Haa Dhaal Atoll next.

Mr. Waheed’s Gaumee Ithihad Party (GIP) has formed a coalition with DRP, religious conservative Adhaalath Party and former Attorney General (AG) Hassan Saeed’s Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP).

Mr. Thasmeen had started his career as a civil servant and later got into politics.

He had served in former Maldives’ President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s cabinet and was his running mate in the first multi-party election held in the Maldives in 2008.

Mr. Gayoom, who earlier headed the DRP had quit active politics in January 2010. He later came back and formed the Progressive Party of Maldives.