President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has said that he is confident of winning the 2023 presidential election through a coalition. This is the first time he has given a clear answer regarding next year's presidential election.
Replying to a question from AVAS at a press conference at the President's Office on Wednesday, President Solih said it is essential that the main-ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) remains in power. He said this was the most beneficial choice for the Maldives.
The President said his government had started many projects for the people, and the projects should continue into the coming years without interruption.
The President then said the best way to determine the candidate for the MDP presidential ticket is to hold a primary and said the party would act as per the party's Constitution. He said the party's candidate would be determined by the MDP Congress.
The President said that a single party cannot win the 2023 election on the presidential election, including MDP. However, he is confident that he can win the election by facing the election through a coalition, he said.
"I am confident that I can win the 2023 [presidential election] with a coalition led by MDP. MDP alone cannot do it. So, the party's Congress will decide on a candidate. I can assure you that I am confident of winning the 2023 presidential election. If you wish for an MDP administration, I am a choice," President Solih said.
While President Solih has said he was the "choice" as a presidential candidate if MDP wanted to remain in power, MDP's President and former President of Maldives Mohamed Nasheed has, on several occasions, expressed his interest in contesting the upcoming presidential election. He has said he could not be defeated in any internal election of the MDP and that he would win the presidential primary.
"I cannot be defeated in the primary. I contest in elections to win," Nasheed had earlier said.
In a recent TV interview, Nasheed said he does not think President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih would contest the 2023 presidential election. In the interview, Nasheed said the MDP members would decide who would contest the 2023 presidential race on the MDP ticket through a primary. He said it was imperative that another candidate contests the primary in addition to President Solih and himself. However, he then said he did not expect President Solih to contest the presidential primary, stating that President Solih has never made such a statement.
"I don't expect President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih to contest [the upcoming presidential election]. However, I have [made it clear] in many ways, repeatedly expressed my intention to contest in the election," Nasheed said.
Meanwhile, Nasheed's cousin and Galolhu North MP Eva Abdulla has also said Nasheed would contest the 2023 presidential election.