Ahmed Saleem (Maaz Saleem) has announced his endorsement of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih in the upcoming presidential election runoff. 

Saleem, who was the running mate of independent presidential candidate Umar Naseer in the first round, made this announcement at an MDP campaign rally in Hulhumale’ on Thursday evening.

Saleem stated that his decision to support President Solih was primarily driven by his opposition to tyranny and his grave concerns over the influence of criminal gangs within political administrations. “I believe it is my patriotic duty to come forward and share this information with the people, to elucidate these issues. It is both my duty and responsibility,” he elaborated.

Highlighting his commitment, Saleem announced plans to formally sign with the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP). “I will sign, I will sign with MDP,” he affirmed, indicating a significant alliance ahead of the election.

Saleem, who had served as a deputy home minister in the past, launched a scathing criticism of former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, describing his administration as one of “tyranny”. He noted that Yameen’s ruthless stance on political dissent even led to the imprisonment of his own brother, former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.

Umar Naseer, with whom Saleem contested the first round of the elections, has declared that he will not be endorsing either candidate in the runoff election. In the first round, Umar secured a modest three percent of the votes, totalling 6,348, outperforming some candidates who were backed by political parties.