Veteran lawmaker Ibrahim Mohamed Solih will contest the presidential election in Maldives against incumbent Abdulla Yameen after the opposition Democratic Party nominated him as its candidate, Reuters reported. On Friday, exiled former President and Democratic Party leader Mohamed Nasheed had withdrawn his candidature citing legal obstacles.
The presidential election is scheduled to be conducted on September 23. Yameen is running for a second five-year term, months after a state of emergency declared by him threw the island nation in a political crisis.
Solih, also known as Ibu, was first elected to Parliament in 1994. The Democratic Party and smaller Opposition parties have agreed to field common candidates for president and the running mate. Solih’s running mate will be from the Jumhooree Party.
Withdrawing his candidature on Friday, Nasheed had said the Election Commission’s decision to reject his victory in a party primary poll was illegal and demanded that the authority be sanctioned. He was the first democratically elected leader in Maldives, but was forced to quit amid a mutiny by police in 2012.
The government has rejected a demand by a United Nations human rights monitor to let Nasheed contest. Nasheed is currently in exile in Sri Lanka.