President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, despite being in power, faced a multitude of difficulties throughout his journey in this presidential election. One such was the decision he had to make regarding a running mate; sidelining the vice president who is loyally concluding a term alongside him, to ensure the election of an individual from a major island for the post.
After stalling the decision on multiple occasions – President Solih, in the end, chose Addu-born North Hithadhoo MP Mohamed Aslam, who is also the majority leader of the parliament, as his running mate.
Although his loyalty and trust deserved a hundred out of a hundred – Aslam’s experience in politics, Addu City’s size, in comparison to Fuvahmulah City, among other reasons, sidelined him from becoming the running mate. However, as the results of the first round rolls in, the decision seems to have been made in vain.
Fuvahmulah City’s majority with PPM
President Solih secured majority from Fuvahmulah City when he faced the election alongside Faisal Naseem in 2018.
In this regard, he secured 56.6 percent votes from the 12 ballot boxes allocated for the city. That is 3,862 votes from the 6,919 valid votes. 7,426 people were eligible to vote from the city. Opposition PPM, that had been in power back then, secured 2,979 votes from the city
On the contrary, in this election, 47 percent of votes from Fuvahmulah City were secured by the opposition PNC, while President Solih only received 35 percent.
Sidelining Faisal ended in a loss
Faisal is among the vice presidents who have stayed loyal throughout a presidential term since the administration of the first president of the Maldives, Mohamed Ameen.
Fuvahmulah residents had been hopeful that Faisal would be named President Solih’s running mate as a reward for his loyalty.
“Fuvahmulah residents were heartbroken because of what the president did to Faisal. Let him participate in the campaign, to deprive him of the opportunity at the last minute. This is the main reason behind the results from this island,” a resident from Fuvahmulah City told Sun.
President Solih chose ‘Addu Aslam’, over Faisal and his loyalty, because securing majority from Addu City had been of extreme importance.
Addu City has been widely dominated by MDP during previous elections. In 2018’s election, President Solih secured 67.8 percent of votes from Addu City.
However, President Solih lost the super majority from Addu City this election – with the opposition PNC securing a surprisingly high amount of votes. Therewith, it is put into question, whether choosing a running mate from Addu City has benefited in any way.
The results of the first round of the elections show opposition PNC’s candidate Muizzu led the polls with a landslide difference to second place, President Solih. Fuvahmulah City played a significant role in these results.