Nasheed tweeted saying that he has decided to relinquish his Presidential ticket.
“In light of the fact that @ElectionsMv have written to MDP saying that I can’t contest in the upcoming Presidential Elections, I have decided to relinquish my Presidential ticket. I hope to do this at MDP’s 3rd Congress. The EC’s decision is illegal and they must be sanctioned,” he tweeted.
Maldives media reported that the 51-year-old informed his party (MDP) leadership and opposition lawmakers of his decision Friday morning.
Media reports said the move comes after weeks of uncertainty and bickering in the opposition coalition over fielding a single candidate to challenge President Abdulla Yameen. Coalition partners have been praising Nasheed even his decision to withdraw from the polls while his supporters expressed sorrow and disappointment on social media.
The European Union and some Western nations have urged the Maldives to hold a credible and transparent presidential poll.
On Thursday the Maldives appointed a new chief justice, two weeks after a court convicted his predecessor and former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom of obstruction of justice and jailed them for 19 months.
The trials were widely seen as part of a plan by President Abdulla Yameen to tighten his grip on power ahead of elections in September at which he seeks a second five-year term against an opposition yet to decide on a single candidate. (Colombo Gazette)