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Maldives ex-president quits ruling party ahead of vote

MALÉ (AFP) – Former Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed has quit the ruling party, he said late on Wednesday, amid a deepening rift within the government ahead of September presidential elections.

“After taking into account how things are happening in the country at the moment, I don’t think the best course of action is for me to stay in this party,” Nasheed tweeted late on Wednesday, as he stepped down from the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) he founded in 2001.

“I have resigned from the party.”

However, Nasheed said he would remain in his post as Speaker of Parliament.

The resignation from the MDP comes five months after Nasheed lost to incumbent President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih in the primary to select a candidate for presidential polls slated for September 9.