Ahmed Thasmeen Ali has been elected as the leader for the opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP), as no other member of the party stood to compete against him.
The party’s former leader Maumoon Abdul Gayoom recently endorsed Thasmeen as the DRP’s leader following his resignation from politics.
DRP member and former president of the Islamic Democratic Party (IDP) Umar Naseer congratulated Thasmeen for becoming leader but the leader of the DRP “must not [automatically] be the DRP’s candidate for the presidential election; it has to be taken by a vote,’ he said.
DRP spokesman Ibrahim Shareef said he had “nothing to say about it.”
“The DRP congress will confirm Thasmeen as the president and it’s done, what else should I say?” he said.
MDP MP Ahmed Easa claimed Thasmeen’s automatic election as leader was undemocratic, particularly after Gayoom’s public endorsement.
“It’s unbelievable that nobody else stood up for the DRP leadership,” he said.
Press secretary of the president’s office Mohamed Zuhair said while the government was happy that the DRP is strengthening its internal democracy, Thasmeen’s election and Gayoom’s endorsement was “a one horse race, just the way it used to be.”
‘That the leader of the DRP was elected without a single person standing against is not very democratic,” Zuhair stated.
Minivan News was unable to reach Thasmeen for comment.