"Must be given opportunity to re-determine candidate": Nasheed

Opportunity must be given to re-determine the MDP presidential candidate by creating branches of the "Fikuregge Dhirun" ideology within the party, Parliament Speaker and leader of MDP, Mohamed Nasheed, has said.

Nasheed lost the MDP presidential primary to President Ibrahim Solih, who received 61 percent of the votes against Nasheed's 39 percent.

Speaking to the media for the first time since his defeat in the MDP presidential primary, Nasheed said he could make branches of "Fikuregge Dhirun" -- the slogan he used in his primary campaign-- and said he should be given the opportunity to do so.

In the interview given to Dhivehi Channel, the former president repeatedly said that he would not form another party despite his defeat. Acknowledging that there are two factions within the MDP, Nasheed said the MDP could not be broken up even if there are factions.

"I believe the MDP is very well built. This party will not fade. This ideology will not be lost. The party will not break up," Nasheed said.

Nasheed said following the outcome of the primary, he was now working to create branches under the name of "Fikuregge Dhirun" with 50,000 people and find them the opportunity to nominate a presidential candidate again. He said he is working to ensure that the 39,000 MDP members, who he claimed were removed from the party for supporting him, are re-registered to the party again.

"After forming branches in this way, they can decide which candidate to support," Nasheed said.

Praising MDP Chairperson Fayyaz Ismail, Nasheed said the Chairperson would know how to run the party with two factions and that the 'Fikuregge Dhirun' branches can also be run.

"He [Fayyaz] should know how to handle two factions. He will know how to do that," Nasheed said.

Although President Nasheed accepted the results of the MDP presidential primary and conceded defeat, Nasheed Tuesday said 40 polling stations were identified where more people voted than the number of eligible voters. He said the result of these ballot boxes must be changed. He also alleged that President Solih bought votes, and the gap between him and President Solih would be narrowed if those votes were not counted.

The results of the MDP presidential primary showed that President Solih received 24,572 votes. President Nasheed received 15,631 votes.