Former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom has endorsed his son, independent presidential candidate Ahmed Faris Maumoon, for president, dispelling notions of nepotism by expressing his confidence in Faris’ ability to shoulder the duties and responsibilities that come with the position.

In a video posted to X (formerly Twitter), Gayoom outlined that his support reflected Faris’ belief in the same principles, adding that Faris had always supported, and assisted in, Gayoom’s political endeavours while also being by his side “through everything.”

Gayoom went on to outline that Faris had a proven track record of working for the benefit of the Maldivian people, pointing to Faris’ time as an MP where, according to Gayoom, Faris was vilified and persecuted due to his steadfastness. “He is one who will not sell out the nation for his own personal gain.”, Gayoom said.

Faris, a former MP for Dhiggaru, holds an MA in International Relations from Australia’s University of New South Wales, and has served in several senior government positions during the latter part of his father’s 30-year rule. He also briefly served as Minister of State for Economic Development during President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s administration.

While many political observers consider Faris’ government experience and political visibility to be limited, his running mate Abdul Sattar Yoosuf is seen as a candidate who can mitigate such “shortcomings,” with his long national service record and experience, which includes working at the top levels of the WHO.