PPM leaders’ snide response to Nasheed’s call for interim president

PPM Nihan and Abdul Raheem

PPM deputy leader Abdul Raheem Abdulla (R) speaks to parliamentary group leader Ahmed Nihan Hussain Manik during the press conference on Thursday. MIHAARU PHOTO/NISHAN ALI

Responding to former president Mohamed Nasheed’s call to establish an interim presidency in 2018, ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM)’s deputy leader and Fonadhoo MP Abdul Raheem Abdullah on Saturday claimed that Maldivian citizens do not want an interim president.

Speaking to the main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)’s national congress on Saturday, Nasheed had said that it was unlikely to hold free and fair elections, given the current political situation in the Maldives.

Refuting the self-exiled former president’s call via Twitter, PPM’s deputy leader said that Maldivian citizens do not want an interim government, and that they are ready to move forward with “progress”. He further stated that incumbent president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom will secure the majority of votes and win the upcoming election slated for 2018.

“We beat [Nasheed] on February 7, 2012. God willing, he will be defeated again,” MP Abdul Raheem said.

PPM’s parliamentary group leader and Villimale MP Ahmed Nihan also took a jab at the former president via Twitter, saying, “No matter how I do the math, the outcome is not favourable for Nasheed and he will not be able to compete in the 2018 presidential election.”

MP Nihan had even indirectly quoted Nasheed saying that there is a “scientific guarantee” about him not winning the election.

Nasheed told MDP’s national council on Saturday that the interim candidate that will contest in the presidential election should be selected after narrowing down potential candidates from the joint opposition coalition.

According to him, the reason for this is because there is no “scientific guarantee” that any one candidate or opposition party could secure the majority in the presidential election.

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