PPM-PNC members have clear stance on preferred candidate: Abdul Raheem

The President of Peoples National Congress (PNC), Abdul Raheem Abdulla, has said the members of the Progressive Congress Coalition (PPM-PNC) have a clear stance on their preferred choice in the upcoming presidential election and do not need anyone to tell them who to vote for.

Abdul Raheem made the statement while addressing a campaign rally on Ihavandhoo island on Sunday night. His remarks come while Parliament Speaker and Democrats member Mohamed Nasheed has been consistently calling on PPM-PNC supporters to vote for the Democrats' candidate, Ilyas Labeeb, instead of their own presidential candidate, Dr. Mohamed Muizzu.

Referring to Nasheed's appeals, Abdul Raheem said it is clear to the coalition's supporters who to vote for in the election and that they all rally behind Dr. Muizzu.

“People from other parties don’t have to tell them who to vote for,” he said.

Abdul Raheem also criticized former President Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik, who recently left the PPM. Waheed had expressed disappointment that PPM did not choose to field its own candidate for the election and instead endorsed its allied party, the PNC's candidate.

Abdul Raheem suggested that Waheed's departure stemmed from his inability to fulfill personal ambitions within the party and supported the notion that Waheed sought the PPM presidential nomination for himself. Reports indicated that Waheed took steps to clear his criminal record in anticipation of securing PPM's presidential ticket.

Abdul Raheem further said there would be no true member of PPM who would abandon the party when their personal aspirations for themselves are not achieved. This has been proven over the course of the last five years among both PM and PNC members, he said, pointing out that those who left were those pursuing personal agendas.

Responding to those speaking of the injustice they suffered during former president and opposition leader Abdulla Yameen's rule, Abdul Raheem said some individuals incarcerated during Yameen's tenure feigned illnesses to travel abroad and remain in self-exile. In contrast, Yameen, who is currently serving an eleven-year prison sentence for money laundering and bribery, opted to remain within the country for the sake of its citizens rather than seeking opportunities to travel abroad, he noted.