Gasim's wife rules herself out of running mate race

Opposition Jumhoory Party (JP) leader Gasim Ibrahim's wife Aishath Nahula on Thursday ruled herself out of the race to win the nomination for the opposition alliance running mate.

Under the opposition parties' alliance agreement, JP would nominate the running mate to stand for the upcoming presidential elections alongside main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) nominated presidential candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

Two senior party lawmakers and two of its deputy leaders have officially sought the nomination which is set to be decided on Saturday. A social media campaign had gathered support for Nahula amid rumours that she would officially enter the race.

Nahula who had recently entered politics after securing a seat on the JP council during the recently concluded congress however, insisted that she did not harbour any interest in the running mate race.

She had thanked the people and party members for the support but insisted that she would remain with the reform efforts of the opposition alliance.

Rumours of Nahula's interest had reportedly led to a rift within the alliance, with religiously conservative Adhaalath Party (AP) saying that it would be "extremely difficult" to accept a female running mate.