PNC ticket-holder for Male’ seat asks voters to choose independent candidate

Mohamed Abdul Ghadir (Kooku) addresses a campaign event for Ahmed Zameer on March 25, 2024.

Mohamed Abdul Ghadir (Kooku), who won the main ruling People’s National Congress (PNC) ticket for the Central Machangolhi parliamentary seat, asked voters on Monday to choose, Ahmed Zameer, an independent candidate, instead.

Kooku, along with President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu, attended the opening of Zameer’s campaign center on Monday night.

Speaking at the event, Kooku said that Zameer was the president’s choice.

“It is a wise decision of the president. I also endorse Ahmed Zameer, Candidate number 1, and ask you to vote for him this time,” announced Kooku in a short address.

He did not elaborate.

Meanwhile, in his address, President Muizzu thanked Kooku for supporting “the wisest and most suitable candidate in the effort to win the seat for the party.”

Zameer currently serves as the representative of the Central Machangolhi district in the Male’ City Council. He was elected on a ticket from the main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), but later defected to PNC and ran unsuccessfully in the party’s primary for the parliamentary elections. Zameer received 127 votes, while Kooku won the primary with 174 votes.

Following the defeat, Zameer filed candidacy for the parliamentary elections as an independent candidate.

The public endorsement for Zameer comes amid rumors that some of the PNC ticket-holders are being sidelined by the administration in favor of other candidates.