Not much support from political parties to back one candidate in 2013 elections: ‘Madhanee Ihthihaadh’

‘Madhanee Ihthihaadh’, a coalition of NGOs, met with four of the smaller active political parties on Sunday to hold discussions regarding preparations for the 2013 presidential elections.

The smaller parties which attended this meeting were the Islamic Democratic Party (IDP), Maldives National Congress (MNC), Maldives social Democratic Party (MSDP) and People’s Party (PP).

According to the latest figures on the elections commission website, IDP has 3484 members, MNC has 1474, MSDP has 1897 and PP has 1730 members.

At a press conference held after the meeting, President of the NGO Coalition, Mohamed Didi, who is also the current Minister of State for Islamic Affairs, said that this was only the beginning of a series of meetings to come. He said that the meetings were centred around discussions in preparation for the 2013 presidential election.

“What we have been able to agree on so far is that we will continue having more meetings like this and that we can come up with more solutions on how to work together,” Didi said.

The NGO Coalition said today that there wasn’t much support from any political party for the idea of backing one single candidate in the 2013 elections. Didi also stated that they intended to continue discussing the idea with the larger political parties.

Vice President of the NGO Coalition and Minister of State for Home Affairs Abdulla Mohamed said that he believed larger parties were reluctant to back a common presidential candidate because each party had plans to have their own candidate run in the elections.

“We tried as hard as we could to get all the larger parties to back a common candidate, but we are not getting as much cooperation from this government’s coalition as we had initially assumed,” Mohamed said.

Mohamed however said that this decision by the parties was acceptable in a democratic society, and that the parties may be acting in line with the wishes of its’ members.

Former president Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom has previously said that there is a possibility that President Waheed could be PPM’s presidential candidate for 2013.

The current unity government has members from the President Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik’s Gaumee Ihthihaadh Party (GIP), Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), People’s Alliance (PA), Jumhooree Party (JP), Adhaalath Party (AP), Qaumee Party (QP) and the NGO Coalition.

PPM, JP and DRP have been previously reported in local media expressing interest to bring out separate candidates for the 2013 presidential elections.

IDP, MNC and PP offices were not responding to call at the time of press. The contact number of MSDP listed in the Elections Commission website is disconnected.