President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has picked the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)’s top lawmaker, Mohamed Aslam as his running mate, as he seeks to get re-elected for a second term in office.
MDP’s spokesperson Anas Abdul Sattar made the announcement in a tweet on Saturday morning.
Aslam is the leader of the MDP parliamentary group – which holds a supermajority at the parliament.
The North Hithadhoo MP is also the longest-serving lawmaker within the party’s PG. He was part of the parliamentary assembly that drafted the new constitution, and has been a member of all parliamentary assemblies elected since then.
Aslam had also been tipped to become the next speaker of Parliament, once the no-confidence motion against the incumbent speaker, former Maldivian president Mohamed Nasheed goes through.
The race to become President Solih’s running mate had been seen as a fight between Aslam, foreign minister Abdulla Shahid, and the incumbent vice president Faisal Naseem.
Speaking to reporters last week, President Solih admitted he was having a hard time deciding on a running mate.
He said that he had some good choices – both in his current VP Faisal, and from within his own party.
The selection of a running mate comes with less than three days left before the deadline for filing candidacy.
He said he would finalize his decision after consulting with MDP’s coalition partners – the Maldives Development Alliance (MDA) and Adhaalath Party (AP).