Not interested in MDP's elections: PPM-PNC

The PPM-PNC coalition has said it had no interest in the main-ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) 's presidential primary.

PPM Spokesperson Heena Waleed told AVAS that the opposition coalition needs to give more thought to MDP's internal elections. She said the coalition does not think it is a matter of concern.

"Our coalition has no interest in the internal elections of the MDP. There are more important things we have to do," she said.

Heena said the coalition's most important task at the moment is to release their leader and presidential candidate, former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom, from jail. The PPP-PNC coalition is preparing to start his campaign, he said.

"At the moment, we are focusing on the release of our presidential candidate, President Yameen, who is in jail. We are now working on launching his campaign for the presidential election," Heena said.

Heena added that she was not aware of MDP's Mohamed Nasheed's supporters participating in the opposition's protests calling for Yameen's release. The aim of the opposition protests is to free President Yameen and raise their voices against the use of state resources for President Solih's campaign, she said.

The opposition PPP-PNC coalition has launched a series of protests following the Criminal Court's December 25 sentencing of President Yameen to 11 years in jail for money laundering and bribery. President Yameen cannot contest the September election unless a higher court quashes the Criminal Court verdict.

Recently, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, who is vying for the MDP presidential ticket in the party's upcoming presidential primary, said other parties were attempting to disrupt the MDP primary. He said the opposition's actions to coincide with the MDP primary shows that interfering with MDP's affairs was the only way for them to contest the presidential election.