The opposing PPM-PNC coalition has reiterated that their leader, former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom, would contest the upcoming presidential election.
President Yameen is currently serving an 11-year jail sentence on a money laundering and bribery conviction. As a result, he has been barred from contesting the September presidential election and cannot contest unless a higher court quashes the Criminal Court verdict.
The opposition has been holding serial protests calling for President Yameen's release. In this regard, the opposition organized a rally on Friday in all inhabited islands of the Maldives.
Speaking at the protest in Male' City, the PPM-PNC coalition's acting leader, Abdul Raheem Abdulla, asserted that President Yameen would contest the presidential election on behalf of the opposition coalition. He said the opposition would reiterate the statement a thousand times over. Abdul Raheem confidently said President Yameen's name would appear on the ballot.
"I request not to create doubt about our presidential candidate," he said.
Abdul Raheem added that there was no need for other individuals or parties to speak about the opposition's candidate and would not allow them the opportunity to do so. He said attempts by another individual to come to power in the shadow of President Yameen is a delusion.
Abdul Raheem described the lower court's sentence on President Yameen as an unjust sentence. He said President Yameen would win the appeal in the High Court and urged his supporters not to be discouraged. Abdul Raheem said the people of the Maldives want President Yameen's government and that Yameen would maintain the country's independence and sovereignty.