Dhunya Maumoon, daughter of former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom , has said that it is unlikely her father will contest in the upcoming 2013 presidential election.
Speaking to local newspaper Haveeru yesterday, Dhunya said she believed only two candidates would be contesting in the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) presidential primaries.
She claimed the two candidates would be the PPM’s Interim Deputy Leader Umar Naseer and its Parliamentary Group Leader – and half brother of Maumoon Abdul Gayoom – MP Yameen Abdul Gayoom.
“Hasn’t Umar [Naseer] said that it is him and Yameen who will be competing in the primaries? That is how things are currently being seen. But it is [Gayoom’s] own decision if he wishes to compete,” Dhunya told Haveeru.
Naseer this week announced his intention to stand in the upcoming party primaries at a time when former President Gayoom, the current interim PPM leader, also hinted at the possibility of his running for re-election.
“I would definitely back Gayoom if he is to contest the elections. He is our ‘ace of spades’. You cannot say that the ace of spades is not the ace of spades,” he said.
Meanwhile, Gayoom told Indian newspaper The Hindu Tuesday (December 11) that he may consider contesting in the next presidential election, which is presently expected to be held in August or September next year.
“Things change very frequently. So I am keeping my options open,” Gayoom was quoted as saying.
“[If I run] it won’t be out of my choice, if ever, it will be out of compulsion. Because I feel I have served the country for 30 years and I feel it is up to other people [now].” he added.
Although unclear of his intention to run for top office, Gayoom announced that he would be contesting for his party’s presidency during a press conference held today (December 13). Gayoom was elected interim leader during the party’s inaugural convention in October 2011.