Mauroof accuses Nasheed of destroying MDP’s image

Maldives Development Alliance (MDA)’s deputy leader Ali Mauroof addresses a campaign rally in M. Dhiggaru on July 16, 2023. (Photo/MDP Campaign Team)

Maldives Development Alliance (MDA)’s deputy leader Ali Mauroof has criticized the former leader of Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), Mohamed Nasheed of destroying the party’s public image.

Mauroof, who accompanied President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on a campaign rally in M. Dhiggaru on Sunday night, said that when MDA was founded in 2012, its top priority had been to choose a candidate to back for the 2013 presidential election.

“As it happened, the party faced an election when it was founded. We had several candidates before us. And we considered who to back,” he said.

Mauroof said that MDA had never harbored any ill will towards MDP. He said the only problem had been MDP’s presidential candidate – Nasheed.

“It wasn’t a candidate we could stomach. He was someone who had publicly resigned after he was elected to office [in 2008]. It wouldn’t have been easy to present him before the people,” he said.

Mauroof said that the people weren’t happy with Nasheed because of alleged derogatory remarks regarding Islam.

“I say, the biggest reason MDP lost the 2013 election is because they produced Mohamed Nasheed as their candidate. This is because parties weren’t willing to form a coalition with him for the runoff election,” he said.

He criticized the rally held by The Democrats last week, during which Nasheed joined the party.

Mauroof said that attendance had been low for the party, which he said was promoted as “a great surprise”.

“I thought to myself, this will surely be a strong rally. The night President Nasheed joins The Democrats. But that night, the night he went to sign with The Democrats, only some 600 people were there. I though 3,000-4,000 people would be there and sign with him,” he said.

Mauroof said MDP had always been a party capable of winning elections in a single round, and that MDA had been waiting for the party to get a capable leader.

He said MDA now stood “strong” with the president, who he said would win the election with 60 or 70 percent of votes.