Maldives Joint Opposition agree to field a common candidate

June 30, 2018 10:35 am | Updated July 01, 2018 04:37 pm IST - Colombo

Mohamed Nasheed

Mohamed Nasheed

Following ex-President Mohamed Nasheed’s decision on Friday to pull out of the Maldivian presidential race , the Joint Opposition in a late-night meeting decided to field a common candidate to challenge incumbent President Abdulla Yameen.

The Presidential candidate will be from Mr. Nasheed’s Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), with a running mate from the Jumhooree Party, political sources said. The candidates will be backed by the rest of the opposition parties — Adalath Party and a faction of the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) led by former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.

“I believe this is the way forward in restoring democracy in the Maldives,” Mr. Nasheed tweeted late Friday.

At the MDP’s congress on Saturday, the party said in its manifesto that, subject to an election win, it aims to form an interim coalition government first, and then follow it up with a fresh Presidential election after 18 months. The opposition plans to enact laws restoring the democratic rights of the people and to allow opposition leaders, whose candidacy is currently barred, to contest elections.

Though the four opposition parties draw upon different political ideologies, a shared objective of toppling the Yameen administration unites them in the joint coalition. Maldivian government authorities recently announced that the presidential election will be held on September 23. The international community has urged the Maldives to hold free and fair elections.

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