President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has downplayed the Maldives Development Alliance’s (MDA) decision to abandon its coalition with the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), stating that it would turn out to be a “bad decision” for the MDA. 

President Solih, speaking to campaign teams in Addu on Wednesday, seemed unperturbed by MDA’s decision. While acknowledging the support the MDA had provided in the first round, he predicted that the party would soon realise the error of its ways. “There will be some things that are lost among the things that are gained,” he noted.

On the other hand, the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and the People’s National Congress (PNC) coalition welcomed the MDA’s endorsement of their presidential candidate, Dr Mohamed Muizzu, putting out a statement in the name of its leader, jailed former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom.

“We, in the name of President Yameen, Muizzu, running mate Hussain Mohamed Latheef, this coalition’s leadership and ordinary members, welcome MDA’s leader Ahmed Siyam, MDA’s leadership, and all council members, following MDA’s decision to endorse this coalition’s presidential candidate and running mate,” said the statement.

The unfolding events have set the stage for a highly competitive runoff election. President Solih, who has been encouraging unity among the MDP and other potential allies, seems to take MDA’s departure in his stride, believing his core voter base remains strong. 

Meanwhile, Muizzu and the PPM-PNC coalition are buoyed by their new endorsement, likely strengthening their position ahead of the critical vote.