Senior PPM officials say no interest in contesting election in Yameen's absence

Senior members of the opposing Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) has said they have no interest or intention to contest the presidential election in place of their jailed leader, Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom.

Yameen is currently serving an 11-year jail sentence on a money laundering and bribery charge, rendering him ineligible to contest in the September presential election. Although PPM has awarded its presidential ticket to Yameen, he cannot contest the election unless a higher court quashes the Criminal court verdict on the case.

From among senior PPM members who may contest the presidential election if Yameen's candidacy is not approved, the party's Deputy President Ghassan Maumoon, Male' City Mayor Dr. Mohamed Muizzu, Naifaru MP Ahmed Shiyam, and Maavashu MP Mohamed Saeed assured at a press conference held Monday night that they would not contest the presidential election. PPM's sister party, PNC's leader, Abdul Raheem Abdulla, said there was no choice for PPM's presidential candidate except President Yameen.

At the press conference, Mayor Muizzu said the opposition PPM-PNC coalition candidate is Yameen, while MP Shiyam echoed his sentiments and said the opposition's Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C are also Yameen as the party's presidential candidate. PPM's Deputy President and Th. Guraidhoo MP Ghassan said he did not intend to follow a path other than what was shown by Yameen. MP Saeed also said he would stay where Yameen put him and had no interest in becoming president.