MNP to hold primary for 2023 presidential elections on Jan 14

MNP's national council convenes for a meeting on November 2, 2022. (Photo/MNP)

Maldives National Party (MNP) has decided to hold its primary for the 2023 presidential elections on January 14.

The party made the decision during the national council meeting Wednesday evening.

MNP’s leader, Dhangethi MP Colonel (Retired) Mohamed Nazim, is the only member of MNP who has announced interest in running in the upcoming elections. He announced his candidacy for the primary back in October.

Other key decisions made by the council includes clarifying its stand as a political party. The council decided that MNP will operate as an opposition party that works to hold the government accountable.

MNP's leader Colonel (Retired) Mohamed Nazim attends the national council meeting on November 2, 2022. (Photo/MNP)

The council also decided to vote against the government bill to raise taxes. The government is pushing to raise the GST from 6 percent to 8 percent, and the TGST from 12 percent to 16 percent. The ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) parliamentary group, which holds supermajority at the Parliament, has issued a three-line whip to vote for the bill without any revisions.

 The bill was passed by the Parliament's Whole House Committee earlier this week.

MNP, like other opposition parties, argue the government should cut unnecessary expenditure to cut down cost, such as the appointment of people to political posts, instead of raising the tax rates.

All three decisions were made with the unanimous vote of 56 members.

The main opposition party, Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) has issued their presidential ticket to their leader, former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom. And while both MDP leader Mohamed Nasheed and President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih have expressed interest in running in the election, MDP has yet to announce a date for its primary.