JP not endorcing any candidate in second round

Party leader Gasim Ibrahim at the council meeting held by JP. (Sun Photo / Mohamed Maavee)

Jumhoory Party (JP) has announced its decision to not endorse any of the candidates of the Presidential Election in the second round of voting. 

The party made this decision during a council meeting, where 68 of the 70 participating members decided to leave the decision of choosing which way forward to JP’s leader Qasim Ibrahim. 

“This time, we have decided against supporting any party during the second round of the Presidential Election. We will remain silent, and work towards the betterment of the party.”

Prior to announcing this decision, Qasim, who had also contested in the election, met with representatives of both remaining candidates and held discussions regarding forming a coalition. 

On September 12, Hussain Mohamed Latheef, the running mate of People's National Congress (PNC) and Progressive Party of Maldives’ (PPM) coalition candidate Dr Mohamed Muizzu, met with Qasim at one of his resorts. 

Reportedly, the PNC-PPM coalition came forward without any prior conditions. 

Meanwhile, on September 13,  President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih also went to one of Qasim’s resorts, and spent two days in order to discuss forming an alliance. A council member of JP has previously revealed that most of the discussions were held just between President Solih and Qasim. 

Additionally, the member noted that as Qasim’s biggest concerns were about the India issue, information in the agreements were clarified via Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid. 

Speaking about the party’s decision, Qasim noted that based on discussions with other parties, as well as documents JP received, some of the points raised during campaign duration has been proven to be true.

Qasim, who competed in the Presidential Elections for a third time had continuously expressed that he would not be supporting any candidate throughout his campaign. He stated that he had supported PPM and MDP to come into power, but both went on to go against the Constitution once they were elected. 

In the first round of the election held on September 9, Qasim received a total of 5,460 votes, making it the lowest number of votes from any of the times he contested. 

In 2008 he attained 15.32 percent, equivalent to 27,056 votes, and then in 2013, he received 23.34 percent, which was 48,131 votes.

Since he was in Germany under political asylum, Qasim was unable to participate in the 2018 elections. However, he was part of the winning coalition, and President Solih was victorious with a huge support from him.