'Pres Solih will win election even without JP's support'

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih will win this year's presidential election even without Jumhooree Party as part of MDP's coalition for the upcoming election, Presidential Spokesperson Miuwan Mohamed has said.

Speaking at a press conference at the President's Office today, Miuwan said the President would hold discussions with the JP once the party names its presidential candidate. Miuwan said running the government was the top priority for President Solih and that he would work with those who support and cooperate with him in the upcoming presidential election.

Miuwan noted that it would be difficult to run the government with those who oppose the government's policies and those who support the President's rival candidates as part of the government.

"It will not be a challenge for the President. The President is sure to win this election with [the help] of those supporting him," Miuwan said.

President Solih has invited current ruling coalition members to form alliances with him for the September elections. While Adhaalath Party has pledged to support him, Jumhooree Party has decided to field its own candidate and lead its own coalition for the election. MRM is yet to make a decision.

Meanwhile, following JP's decision to contest the election, President Solih's supporters have been calling on the government to remove government officials appointed on JP slots from their posts. Some MPs of the main-ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) have supported the sentiments. JP's Leader, Gasim Ibrahim, on Wednesday responded to the MPs, stating that the current coalition was established for a five-year term. Therefore, he believes JP members in government positions can only be dismissed after the expiry of the term, said Gasim. If they were to be dismissed that way, then President Solih himself must resign, Gasim. He also said that he does not believe that it is shameful for JP members to remain in office as per the coalition agreement.

"The government slots given to JP were not given from anyone's inheritance," Gasim had said.