Ahmed Siyam, a prominent businessman and the owner of the Sun Siyam Group, has announced his support for President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih in the upcoming presidential election scheduled for September 9. Siyam's decision comes after President Solih agreed to provide significant financial benefits to his company.
The announcement was made after Siyam met with President Solih at the president's office. Following their meeting, President Solih invited Siyam's Maldives Democratic Alliance (MDA) party to form an alliance with his Maldives Democratic Party (MDP) in the upcoming election.
During their discussion, Siyam proposed two main points to President Solih. The first point was that his company would receive $24 million owed to Hilton through the government. President Solih agreed to facilitate a $25 million loan facility via the State Bank of India so that Siyam could use it to pay off the debt owed to Hilton.
The second point was related to the loan Siyam had taken from the Chinese Exim bank to develop the Siyam World resort, the largest tourist resort in the Maldives. Siyam requested the government to pay off this loan, and President Solih agreed to facilitate the repayment of this loan through loans from the Bank of Maldives.
Siyam's decision to back President Solih has caused a stir in his party, with many prominent members being against this decision. Several members have even left the party. Despite this, the MDA's National Council met on Friday evening and voted in favour of forming a coalition with the MDP and supporting President Solih in the upcoming election.
In a statement, Siyam said, "I have decided to support President Solih as I believe he is the best candidate to lead the country forward. His commitment to the country and its people is commendable, and I look forward to working with him to ensure the prosperity of the Maldives."
The move is seen as a significant development in the lead up to the presidential election, and it remains to be seen how it will affect the election results. However, Siyam's backing is expected to provide a significant boost to President Solih's chances of re-election.