Faris’ team holds coalition talks with PPM-PNC

Ahmed Faris Maumoon's team meet with top officials from the opposition PPM-PNC coalition on September 13, 2023. (Photo/Ahmed Faris Maumoon)

A team of representatives for Ahmed Faris Maumoon, who contested the presidential election independently, met with top officials from the opposition PPM-PNC coalition on Wednesday, for discussions regarding a possible coalition deal for the election runoff.

According to Faris, the team was led by Aneesa Ahmed, a former gender minister.

Faris said the team shared their policies for economic, social and political reform.

“We strongly believe these policies are important for strengthening democracy, enhancing justice and equality and for ensuring national unity and harmony,” said Faris, in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.

The PPM-PNC coalition said it discussed a potential partnership for the upcoming presidential election runoff.

Faris was the founder of PPM – now the country’s main opposition party. But following in an internal power struggle during former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s administration, both he, and his father, former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom were kicked out of the party.

They later formed a new party – the Maldives Reform Movement (MRM).

Faris had also been jailed during the administration of Yameen, his uncle. He later joined the opposition alliance, which helped elect President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih to office in 2018.

In the first round of voting in the 2023 presidential election held on Saturday, the PPM-PNC coalition’s candidate Dr. Mohamed Muizzu won 46 percent with 101,635 votes, while MDP’s Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, the incumbent president, won 39 percent with 86,161 votes.

Neither won the majority needed to win the election outright, and the winner is set to be decided in the second round of voting on September 30.

Both PPM-PNC and MDP have initiated negotiations for coalition deals for the runoff.

The MNP, which won 1,907 votes in the first round, signed a coalition deal with the PPM-PNC on Tuesday.

Both MDP and PPM-PNC are engaged in negotiations with JP, which won 5,406 votes, as well as The Democrats, which placed third with 15,839 votes.