Pres Solih not the best choice, Shahid is president material: Nasheed

Parliament Speaker and former President of the Maldives Mohamed Nasheed has said the 76th UNGA President and Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid has the qualities of a President and that it was not in MDP's interest for President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih to seek re-election.

During the Ask Speaker program held Thursday night, Nasheed was asked if he is confident of winning the MDP presidential primary for the 2023 Presidential Election and whether he would support the winning candidate if he failed the primary.

In his response, Nasheed said he does not contest elections expecting to lose. Stressing that he would win the election, Nasheed said it was not in the best interest of the main-ruling MDP for President Solih to seek a second term in office. He said Minister Shahid expressed interest in contesting the 2018 Presidential Election. However, he informed Shahid that President Solih was the best candidate at the time, and asked Shahid to delay his candidacy, said Nasheed. He said he believes Shahid is president material and that the party should consider a third candidate for the presidential ticket. He is likely referring to giving a chance to someone other than himself and President Solih.

"I don't think it is good for the MDP for President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih to contest for a second term. Abdulla Shahid met me earlier in 2018 and requested to contest in the presidential election. However, I told Shahid that I believed Ibrahim Mohamed Solih to be the best candidate. When I asked Shahid in 2018 to delay his candidacy, it was obvious to me that he held the qualities of a president who would lead the country," said Nasheed.

"I think in the future, all MDP members will ask the question whether there will be a third candidate contesting for the presidential ticket. I think the answer will become clear in the coming weeks," Nasheed said.

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has officially announced that he will be contesting for a second term. During a press conference held on June 8, President Solih said he was confident of winning the 2023 Presidential Election with the help of a coalition.