Qasim Ibrahim, the leader of Jumhooree Party (JP) and three-time presidential candidate, is urging the public to grant him an opportunity to lead the country.

Addressing a gathering of civil society stakeholders and NGOs, Qasim highlighted his extensive history of presidential bids, noting his participation in the elections of 2008, 2013, and the present one. He posed the question whether it is now time for the public to evaluate his potential in office.

Qasim underscored his history of dedicated service to the nation. He mentioned his roles as Finance Minister, Home Minister, Governor of the Central Bank, and as a representative for the Maldives at the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. He emphasised that throughout his career, he refrained from seeking any personal gain from his positions.

“Considering my consistent plea to the public for a chance all these years, don’t you believe it’s time for you to consider me as the President of the country? Why has this opportunity not been given to me?” he questioned.

Drawing attention to his pivotal contributions to the victories of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) twice and the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) once, he stated, “I played a crucial role in enabling the current president, former President Nasheed, and even PPM’s Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom to secure their wins.”

Qasim emerged as a kingmaker in previous elections, securing third place in both the 2008 and 2013 runs. He was also a part of the mega-coalition that successfully ousted former President Yameen in 2018.

As one of the most prominent business magnates in the Maldives and the largest private employer in the country, Qasim has gained significant popularity. He founded the Jumhooree Party, one of the earliest political movements, but has never managed to amass enough votes to lead the nation.

His party, JP, has participated in coalitions with the last three governments, playing a crucial role in winning elections. However, apart from the current administration, JP eventually severed ties with its coalition partners shortly after election victories.

This year, Jumhooree Party has garnered new support from dissatisfied politicians from opposing parties, bolstering Qasim’s leadership prospects with a capable and growing following.