Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed has refuted President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih's claim that he sought Nasheed's endorsement for the second round of the presidential election during their recent meeting.
Nasheed made this statement following a meeting with President Solih earlier in the day, where the president told reporters that their discussion included the topic of Nasheed supporting him in the upcoming second round of the presidential election.
Speaking to reporters at the Parliament Secretariat later in the afternoon, Nasheed clarified that President Solih did not request his support during their meeting.
“I have made it very clear that he did not [make the]request,” Nasheed said.
Nasheed said the Democrats, to whom he belongs, has made a firm decision not to back any candidate in the second round of the election. Therefore, the party's position remains unchanged.
When asked repeatedly by journalists which candidate he supports for the second round of the presidential election, Nasheed said he supports Ilyas Labeeb, who contested the first round of the presidential election on behalf of The Democrats. He said although Ilyas did not advance to the second round, he supports him under Article 111 of the Constitution.
"I am not suggesting there's no legal argument. I will support Ilyas Labeeb, and I believe that this is the best approach for both the MDP and the Maldives. Take a look at Article 111. I will support Ilyas Labeeb," Nasheed said.
Article 111 of the Constitution is titled "Presidential Election," and subsection (b) stipulates that if one of the two candidates competing in the second round withdraws for any reason, the candidate who received the third-highest number of votes in the first round shall participate in the second round of the election. In the first round, Ilyas Labeen came third with 15,839 votes, which is 7.18 percent of total votes.