Nasheed quits presidential race after poll panel bars his candidacy | Sunday Observer

Nasheed quits presidential race after poll panel bars his candidacy

Former President of the Maldives Mohamed Nasheed speaks on stage at the New Climate Lunch Roundtable on day 4 of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival at Wahso Asian Grill in Park City, Utah. -  AFP PHOTO
Former President of the Maldives Mohamed Nasheed speaks on stage at the New Climate Lunch Roundtable on day 4 of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival at Wahso Asian Grill in Park City, Utah. - AFP PHOTO

Former Maldivian President and exiled opposition leader Mohamed Nasheed on Friday said that he was exiting the presidential race, after the Election Commission barred his candidacy.

“In light of the fact that @ElectionsMv have written to (Maldivian Democratic Party) MDP saying that I can’t contest in the upcoming Presidential Elections, I have decided to relinquish my Presidential ticket. I hope to do this at MDP’s 3rd Congress. The EC’s decision is illegal and they must be sanctioned,” he said in a tweet.

Earlier this month, authorities said Maldivian presidential elections would be held on September 23. Incumbent leader President Abdulla Yameen is eyeing another term, while his political opponents and dissidents remain in jail or in exile. With Mr. Nasheed pulling out of the controversial election, the MDP is considering other candidates. Amidst speculation that the party’s parliamentary group leader and senior lawmaker Ibrahim Mohamed Solih was a likely replacement, MDP sources said a final decision would be taken based on discussions at the MDP’s national congress scheduled to begin Saturday.Amidst what critics deem, Yameen’s growing slant towards authoritarianism, last year, opposition forces announced an unlikely coming together to jointly challenge him.

Former presidents Mr. Nasheed and Maumoon Abdul Gayoom — he heads a faction of the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives against his half-brother Mr. Yameen, and is now in prison — and other opposition leaders Gasim Ibrahim of the Jumhooree Party and Sheik Imran of the Adalath Party decided to work together.

However, with the MDP holding its party primaries in May – in which Nasheed secured a decisive 80 % vote – and more recently, JP’s exiled leader Gasim Ibrahim announcing a 20-member proposed cabinet via Facebook, suggested their united opposition was in disarray.

-The Hindu

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