MDP Primary: Nasheed admits defeat

Parliament Speaker and leader of the main-ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) 's President, Mohamed Nasheed, has admitted defeat in the party's Presidential Primary.

Nasheed contested against President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih in MDP's presidential primary on Saturday. President Solih received 61 percent with 24,572 votes, against Nasheed's 15,631 votes -- 31 percent. Nasheed did not comment on President Solih's apparent victory on the day of the election or the day after.

In a message to the MDP WhatsApp group this morning, President Nasheed said that most people voted for President Solih in the primary.

"Looking at the voters' list, I expect President Solih to win by a small margin," he said.

Nasheed said President Solih cannot win this year's presidential election. He said he would determine the candidate he would support in the presidential election later.

"The presidential candidate supported by the 'Fikuregge Dhirun' team will be determined later," Nasheed said.

Nasheed further said it would be easier to support a candidate who agrees to switch to a parliamentary government system.

Nasheed also proposed to establish MDP branches in all islands under the name of "Fikuregge Dhirun," the slogan he used in the primary. He asked for the 39,000 party members whom he claimed were removed from the party to be re-registered to the party and move forward from there.

After winning the primary, President Solih called on party members to put aside differences and rivalry and work together to win September's presidential election. President Solih said winning the presidential election would be easier than winning the primary.