The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) will today hold primary elections ahead of the September 2023 presidential election. Voters will choose
The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) will today hold primary elections ahead of the September 2023 presidential election.
Voters will choose between two candidates, incumbent president Ibrahim Mohammed Solih and parliament speaker Mohammed Nasheed. Over 57,000 Maldivians have registered to vote, if they registered with MDP before 18 January. Results will be released 3 February.
This primary comes as MDP faces internal division between the Solih and Nasheed factions. Speaker Nasheed accused President Solih of expelling some 39,000 Nasheed supporters from the MDP voter registration prior to the primary. Solih denies this and says those voters were not on the official Elections Committee roll.
It is currently unclear which candidate will win the primary; however President Solih has a slight edge due to incumbency and voter roll purges. Should Solih win, Nasheed is likely to split his MDP faction off into a separate party for the 2023 election, as the current opposition is almost non-existent with their candidate in jail. Both candidates hold similar foreign policies in support of India, so the main shakeup in September will be on domestic policy. Nasheed will likely pursue a corruption crackdown and a switch to parliamentary democracy, while Solih will maintain the current presidential system.