Nasheed to contest 2018 presidential polls

Exiled former Maldives President, Mohamed Nasheed, on Thursday announced that he would contest the 2018 Maldives Presidential election if he gets elected as the Maldives Democratic Party’s presidential candidate.

Nasheed told reporters on press conference in Sri Lankan capital Colombo, his detention and arrest by a Maldivian court last year was politically motivated and illegal and the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions had called for his civil and political rights to be restored.

“I am here in Colombo to meet our party officials. We have decided to hold the MDP Presidential primaries perhaps later this year. I will contest those internal elections. I hope to win the MDP’s ticket as the party’s candidate of choice for the 2018 Maldives Presidential elections,” Nasheed said.

Nasheed who has been in Colombo for the past two weeks to hold indepth discussions with his party, said that if he is not allowed to contest the elections, then the MDP would support another candidate from another party.

He stressed that the MDP would not boycott the elections and neither would they field another candidate.

However he remained confident that he would be able to contest in a free and fair manner.

Nasheed, the leader of the MDP, is Maldives’ first democratically elected president.

He was jailed in the Maldives in 2015, on terrorism charges after allegedly ordering the arrest of a judge during his tenure as the president.

He was sentenced to 13 years imprisonment.

In January 2016, Nasheed was allowed to go to Britain for treatment on his back and remained there after he received political asylum by Britain. (Courtesy Xinhua)

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