Some members of the People’s National Congress (PNC) are colluding with the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), with the aim of squandering constituency seats for their personal gain, President Mohamed Muizzu has said.

“Unfortunately, unfortunately a few of us, but some of us, are pledging allegiance with the MDP today, to the detriment of their constituency seat by putting their self-interest first, this is authentic information that has reached me so I regret to note this and ask you not to do this,” Muizzu said while speaking at a PNC parliamentary campaign event.

This is the time to put nation first, and while there is still time for those members to reconsider, he will not to turn a blind eye to the defections, he said.

“We are having problems in a few constituencies. I repeatedly ask you not to do that. Please resolve this. The PPM [Progressive Party of the Maldives]/PNC candidates who have our support should move forward with the government-backed candidates,” he said.

The President’s words come at a time when he has been supporting independent candidates in some constituencies where candidates from PNC had secured their tickets during the party primaries.

While there is a PNC candidate contesting the Thimarafushi constituency, Muizzu has shown support for Ahmed Riaz, an independent, who is the brother of the constituency’s incumbent MP Abdullah Riaz. Ahmed did not contest the PNC primary.

Muizzu further supported Azim Abdul Aziz; who lost in the PNC primary to contest for the Villingili constituency, Aiman Mohamed; who lost the South Kulhuduffushi constituency, and former MP Anara Naeem, who lost in the primary to contest for the Hura constituency — there are PNC candidates contesting these constituencies who are officially on the party’s tickets.