MDP Chairperson Fayyaz Ismail speaks at a press conference held at the party office on Wednesday evening, 1 May 2024. Dhauru Photo/ Azmi Ahmed

Maldives opposition leadership sees "no reason" to resign despite successive election defeats

Shahid said the party leadership 'today does not consist of people who will leave the battlefield every time they lose'.

2 May 2024

By Mohamed Muzayyin Nazim

Maldives Democratic Party (MDP)’s chairperson Fayyaz Ismail said on Wednesday evening that the defeat in the last two major elections is not reason for the party leadership to resign and no one in the leadership feels that way.

While the MDP National Assembly met on Wednesday evening, people on social media had called for the resignation of the party's leadership following the chastening defeats in the presidential and parliamentary elections.

After the meeting, one of the questions asked by journalists at the press conference was also whether the party leadership should resign.

"We have no intention of anyone resigning from the party leadership at this time," Fayyaz said.

Fayyaz said elections result in win or loss. Therefore, he does not believe that every time he loses, he should resign from a position.

The National Assembly decided to conduct an inquest into finding out the reasons behind their defeat and build the party's future.

Fayyaz said the party would rearrange its affairs in the light of the inquest findings and would allow members ‘the opportunity to change the party's leadership in the future’.

“However, we do not believe that this is the time,” the former Economic Affairs Minister, Fayyaz said.

This, Fayyaz said, is the time to pick the party up on its feet. He assured that the existing leadership would continue in that effort.

“The presence of the MDP in this country is very important for the people of Maldives, whether it is in the opposition or in the government,” Fayyaz said.

"So I won't do anything to hinder that”.

Shahid calls on Fayyaz to not resign

Fayyaz's right-hand man, the party's new president Abdullah Shahid, also answered questions about the resignation talk.

“I ask the chairman [Fayyaz] not to resign under any circumstances,” Shahid said. This is his first press conference after becoming party president without an election last February.

He said the party leadership 'today does not consist of people who will leave the battlefield every time they lose'.

“We will remain steadfast and faithful to the trust given us by our members,” Shahid said.

Shahid, who is expected to contest the upcoming 2028 presidential election, said the people would see the MDP come back to power and regain parliamentary majority.

“We are not going to run away after losing an election, thinking that the sky has fallen on our heads,” Shahid, who served as Foreign Minister in the MDP government, said.