Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Transport Hamadh Abdul Ghanee, who had originally been appointed as a Jumhooree Party (JP) nominee, will join the Maldives Democratic Party (MDP), he has announced in a post to X (formerly Twitter).

“I have decided to join @MDPSecretariat [MDP]. I believe that re-electing HEP @ibusolih [His Excellency President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih] will benefit the nation. His principles and ethics align with mine. The #IbuAslam2023 combination is a winning one, and one that will lead to an #UfaaveriAmaanRaaje [happy, peaceful, Maldives],” he wrote on the micro-blogging site.

Hamadh is seen as a close associate of the Minister of Transport, Aishath Nahula, who is also serving as a JP nominee and whose husband Qasim Ibrahim is contesting as the JP candidate in the Presidential Elections.

JP has recently seen a spate of its members defecting to the MDP. While the Minister of Tourism, Abdulla Mausoom, has not formally joined the MDP, he recently left JP and has backed President Ibrahim Solih’s reelection bid, even as JP leader Qasim Ibrahim confirmed his presidential run.