Pres Solih a reliable leader, will fulfill pledges: Mabrook

Former Presidential Spokesperson Mabrook Abdul Azeez has said that he decided to support President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih in MDP's presidential primary because he is the only reliable leader who can be trusted to fulfill his pledges.

President Solih is seeking re-election and will contest against Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed to gain the main-ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) 's Presidential Ticket in the party's presidential primary slated for January 28.

The former spokesperson, who has been away from the political arena since his resignation, made a sudden appearance at President Solih's campaign rally held at Male' Artificial Beach on Friday night. Speaking at the event, Mabrook said his support for President Solih was not by fear or compulsion.

"I am here today supporting President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih not because of my job. I do not gain anything [from this]," Mabrook said.

Mabrook explained the efforts made by President Solih to save the country during the COVID-19 pandemic. Recalling the efforts made by the President to overcome the pandemic, Mabrook said the president understood the danger of the virus before it reached the Maldives and started taking steps. He said the president worked according to a plan every night for two years to see the country through the pandemic.

"The Maldives did not overcome the pandemic by coincidence. Tourists have started coming to the Maldives again. We see the current situation in neighboring countries like Sri Lanka and Pakistan today. We overcame the pandemic due to the team efforts by the president, the Cabinet, and many others," said Mabrook.

Praising President Solih, Mabrook said the core characteristic of President Solih was listening to all and considering everyone's opinions before taking action.

"The president is a team leader. He will involve the team in everything. He will encourage them in difficulties," Mabrook said.

Mabrook described the introduction of the free degree program and education of 16,000 students as the most important step taken by the president to build the country's human resources. He noted that President Solih's government had given powers to local councils that no government had ever given before. He said the president was building the country so that free-degree students could go to their islands and develop the islands as they wanted. The government today is providing basic services in the islands and implementing development projects as required by the councils, he said.

Mabrook said even those who oppose President Solih would agree that President Solih is a leader who fulfills his promises. He said he voted for the first time in a presidential election in 2008 to elect MDP and said it is evident that the MDP, then and even now, cannot win a presidential election just because the party is big and popular. He said he wholeheartedly believed that President Solih was the leader who could lead MDP to success in the upcoming presidential election by forming a coalition.