Pres Solih, Nasheed meet for the first time since primary

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed have met together for the first time since facing off against each other in the main-ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) 's presidential primary.

On Saturday, President Solih contested against Nasheed in MDP's primary and won the primary by a large margin. President Solih received 61 percent of the votes against Nasheed's 39 percent.

Since the election, the pair met for the first time on Tuesday at a ceremony organized by the Indian High Commission in the Maldives to mark India's 74th Republic Day.

Photos released by some attendees showed the pair greeting each other with a handshake during the function.

Economic Minister and MDP Chairperson Fayyaz Ismail, of whom Nasheed is heavily critical, also attended the ceremony. The two were seated side by side.

The central conflict between Nasheed and President Solih stems from Nasheed's displeasure at the government's failure to implement MDP's policies and President Solih's refusal to change the country's government system from a presidential to a parliamentary system. Nasheed also believes that President Solih cannot win the September presidential election despite his win in the MDP primary.

Although President Nasheed has accepted the results of the primary and conceded defeat, he has made allegations of electoral fraud. He has repeatedly said he will form separate branches within the MDP and conduct a separate political movement under the name of "Fikuregge Dhirun" -- the slogan of his primary campaign.