Coalition leaders campaigning for independent candidates

Leaders of the ruling coalition are campaigning for independent candidates in constituencies where the parties in the Progressive Coalition have fielded candidates, online news outlet CNM reports.

Former President Dr Mohamed Waheed – who joined the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) in December – has participated in campaign activities for his sister-in-law, Ifham Hussain, who is contesting as an independent candidate for the Hanimadhoo constituency.

The official coalition candidate for the Hanimadhoo constituency is Hussain Shahudhy from the Jumhooree Party (JP).

A JP campaign official expressed concern with Dr Waheed’s campaigning for a rival candidate, alleging that the former president drove around the island with the independent candidate last night in government vehicles.

Waheed has also been campaigning for the Adhaalath Party’s candidate for Haa Dhaal Nolhivram, former State Minister for Home Affairs Abdulla Mohamed.

The Nolhivaram constituency was reserved for the JP in the coalition’s seat allocation deal.

Aneesa Ahmed, a PPM council member, has meanwhile been campaigning for Adhaalath Party candidate Anara Naeem in Haa Dhaal Makunudhoo, another constituency assigned for the JP.

JP Secretary General Dr Mohamed Saud however told CNM that the party was not concerned with Dr Waheed or Aneesa’s campaigning.

“The head of the coalition is President Maumoon [Abdul Gayoom]. So it is President Maumoon who will talk on behalf of the coalition as its most senior leader. I don’t know the reason why they are acting contrary to how President Maumoon says,” he was quoted as saying.

Neither Dr Waheed nor Aneesa was available for comment.

Leaders of the coalition parties have meanwhile been urging independent candidates to withdraw and endorse coalition candidates.