President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has said it would be challenging for the main-ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) to win any future elections if it failed at the upcoming Presidential Election. The president, who is seeking re-election, made the statement at a campaign rally held in Fuvahmulah City on Saturday.
President Solih will contest against Parliament Speaker and MDP's President Mohamed Nasheed in the MDP's presidential primary slated for January 28.
Speaking at the rally, President Solih said the change and development the people want could only be brought about with the MDP in power. Therefore, the MDP should work to win the upcoming presidential election, he said.
"We all know very clearly today the path we need to take to come to power. Therefore, I would like to ask the MDP members to consider this and choose that path for MDP. I am here to move forward with you," he said.
The President said there was no doubt that he would win the MDP primary by a large margin. While 2024 will be more important to some MPs than 2023, it is important for them for MDP to win the presidential election, he added.
"We have to think about what has happened in the past. We have to think about what happened in the Parliament and the council elections. Only those in power managed to win the Parliament," he said.
The president said that was the case in 2008, 2013, and even in 2018. Therefore, it would prove to be difficult to win upcoming elections without winning the 2023 presidential election, he said.
"I would like all of you and the senior leadership to consider this," he said.
The president said the government had given great priority to Fuvahmulah in its development efforts. The people of Fuvahmulah have witnessed the first steps he took when he came to power, he said.
"Every government starts works in Fuvahmulah City. They have done some work. However, after coming to power in 2018, the first thing we had to do in this city was to correct the things that were done without a proper plan and re-do the work again," he said.
The President said the expensive sewerage system built in Fuvahmulah during the previous government had to be corrected at a high cost during this government. The island's roads are also being made according to the peoples' requirements, he said. A shore protection project is also underway, he said.
"Major changes are being made to the schools in the field of education," he added.
President Solih said CT scan services would be made available at the Fuvahmulah Hospital. After that, a new hospital will be built in Fuvahmulah, he said. The president said the government is ready to pave the way for the people to move forward in their desired path of development.
"We want to remain in power. We cannot do this without remaining in power. We cannot do this from the streets," he said.
The president urged the people to vote in the MDP primary after thinking deeply, in such a way that the island can move forward with development projects.