Running for Chairperson to ensure Pres Solih is re-elected: Fayyaz

MDP Chairperson candidate Economic Minister Fayyaz Ismail has said the main-ruling party must be 'managed and led better' to ensure President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih is re-elected for a second term. He made the statement while speaking at the party's National Council meeting held Tuesday night.

At the meeting, Fayyaz said his target in running for Chairpersonship was to re-elect President SOlih for a second term in 2023. He said President Solih was elected to bring about important changes to the country and accused the Parliament of hindering his efforts. However, he said he could not allow for the hindrance to continue.

'We elected President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih to bring about much-needed reform to the country. It is clear that the Parliament is obstructing his efforts. We need to move forward with this party to ensure it does not happen that way. This party is not moving forward. It is not. I am asking you to vote for me so that I may take the party to new heights,' Fayyaz said.

In his remarks, the minister also responded to allegations that his campaign team was exerting influence on the Chairperson Election, which will be held on April 16. He reiterated that his team was committed to the government.

'We are standing strong with the government. You can call us 'bro'; you can allege that we exert influence. However, it is clear to the Maldivian people who the 'real bro' is,' he said in what is believed to be an indirect reference to Speaker and former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed.

The minister said while it is clear who is really influencing the election, a specific individual was personally calling MDP members and stating that voting for Fayyaz meant the end for somebody else. He asked if such acts could be described as anything but influencing. He went on to give a direct response to Nasheed, who had last week claimed in Parliament that MPs Eva Abdulla, Hassan Latheef, and Mohamed Waheed made enormous sacrifices for the party. Fayyaz said they were not the only MDP members who were making sacrifices.

'Even we are sacrificing ourselves for this party. It is not only Eva and Hassan Latheef and Waddey and Guitar who worked for this party. We are here, and we worked for this party. We have to hold this election in such a way that the maximum number of party members can vote, and that is when it is not Ramadan, and with ample time to vote, just as our Party charters allow a 60-day duration,' said Fayyaz.

Fayyaz is contesting against MP Hassan Latheef for MDP's Chairperson position. While the election is scheduled for April 16, the date falls on the Holy Month of Ramadan. Fayyaz's team has been asking to delay the election until after the election. However, Hassan Latheef has objected to postponing the election. Tuesday night's Council meeting was called to decide how to proceed with the matter.