MDP amends charter to skip second primary after Nasheed's withdrawal

Main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) on Saturday voted to amend its charter that allows the party's congress and the council the authority to award party tickets without a second primary.

The amendment was passed during the party's ongoing extraordinary congress in Alif Alif Atoll Ukulhas island attended by over 800 congressmen and women.

MDP had been forced to amend its charter after self-exiled former president Mohamed Nasheed the day before forfeited his ticket to contest in the upcoming presidential elections.

The party's charter currently does not specify what the party would do if the party's official ticket holders withdraw or are unable to contest.

The amendment was proposed after Nasheed's shock decision left the party with hardly any time to hold a second presidential primary ahead of the September elections.

The amendment was passed without much resistance after receiving 679 votes in favour while 144 voted against.

With the amendment, MDP's national congress would now have the authority to pick its candidates if there is no time to hold a second primary.

MDP's congress is now expected to award the party's presidential ticket to veteran lawmaker Ibrahim Mohamed Solih who would take Nasheed's place in the presidential race slated for September.

Nasheed's sudden withdrawal, has now united the once divided opposition and have finally agreed on nominating a single candidate for the upcoming presidential elections.

Hours after Nasheed's withdrawal, the four leaders in a joint statement said the opposition have now reached an agreement to join forces against incumbent president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom.

According to the long awaited agreement, the presidential candidate would be from MDP while the running mate would be nominated by Gasim's Jumhoory Party (JP).