Maldives President Ibrahim Soli wins comfortable victory in unprecedented party primaries

Archive – The President of the Maldives, Ibrahim Mohamed Soli – Europa Press/Contacto/Wang Ying

The President of the Maldives, Ibrahim Mohamed Soli, has won the primary elections of his Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), an unprecedented election that pitted him against former President Mohamed Nashid, who has declared his intention to run in the next presidential election on September 9.

Soli, close to China, won 61 percent of the votes amid protests from his rival, who has denounced discrepancies between the vote counts in some polling stations and the total number of registered voters.

The Electoral Commission has denied these accusations while President Soli has recommended his rival to put aside his personal interests.

«What I have to tell my opponents is that the competition is over. Now we must emerge as a party to win the presidential election», he has made known in his triumphant speech, picked up by the Maldivian portal ‘The Sun’.

Another controversial issue has been the removal of several thousand members from the MDP’s register, who have since been disqualified from voting in the primaries. Nashid’s campaign has denounced that the measure has affected mainly the supporters of the former president.