Male' City Mayor and the main opposition, the Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM)'s Deputy Leader, Dr. Mohamed Muizzu, has said that it is in the best interest of the country and the party not to challenge the presidential ticket given to the party's leader, former President Abdullah Yameen.
The PPM-PNC coalition granted their presidential ticket to Yameen last year. However, in December 2022, the Criminal Court found him guilty of money laundering and bribery, resulting in an 11-year prison sentence. As a consequence, he is currently ineligible to contest the upcoming presidential election unless the verdict is overturned by a higher court.
While the status of Yameen's candidacy remains uncertain, there have been speculations that Muizzu might be considering running for the presidency with the support of the PPM-PNC coalition.
Addressing the rumors on Wednesday, Muizzu said he had not previously addressed the concerns and recognized that his silence had caused unrest among some party members. Muizzu emphasized the need to address the allegations at some point.
Muizzu clarified the matter by stating that the PPM-PNC presidential ticket was granted to President Yameen because of the party members' desire for him to contest the election. He stressed that everyone should rally behind and support Yameen's candidacy and said he has never intended to betray the former president. Muizzu reaffirmed his unwavering loyalty to President Yameen.