'Disappointing turnout a testament to unfulfilled hopes' - Nasheed

President of main-ruling Maldivian Democratiic Party (MDP) and Speaker of the Parliament, Mohamed Nasheed has commented on the supporter turnout at the party's rally held Friday night.

Unlike most events organized by MDP, Friday's rally held to kick off the campaign for the upcoming local council elections showed rows upon rows of empty seats. While MDP has the largest party membership, the disappointing turnout is a reflection of the members' disappointment in how the administration's is proceeding, said Nasheed, speaking at a press conference held at the MDP headquarters on Saturday.

Nasheed said while the hopes and dreams of the people are connected to the administration and MDP, he himself believes the administration is unable to fully deliver on the hopes of the country's citizens.

Nasheed noted that an effective solution for the housing and congestion issues faced by the capital city is still pending, and said that adequate action has not been taken in investigating the acts of corruption undertaken by the former administration. The delay in concluding the investigations into murders and enforced disappearances is also a main reason why the number of supporters attending rallies have declined, said Nasheed.

Speaking further, the former president of Maldives said although the country's citizens have several complaints, it is ultimately MDP that can address the concerns and provide a solution to the issues. He further asserted his confidence that the supporters of the party would not desert the party due to such complaints. He further acknowledged that there is always room for improvement, and in this regard, there are also areas that the ruling party needs to work on.

Expressing his confidence that MDP would win all Male' seats and mayor seats in the upcoming local council election, Nasheed said he had no doubt that this feat is achievable for the party.

While the number of supporters who attended Friday night's rally in Male' city were significantly, the number of supporters who attended the simultaneous rallies held across Maldives were also lesser than expected. This is the first MDP event with such a disappointing turnout in recent years, especially one which was attended by both President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and Speaker Nasheed.