Brother-in-law of former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, Ilyas Ibrahim, has left the Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM), accusing it of disrupting President Waheed’s coalition government.
“I can’t accept stymieing the government whilst being part of the coalition,” Haveeru reported Ilyas as saying.
Ilyas publicly backed Umar Naseer in the PPM primary vote to determine the party’s presidential candidate, which was marred by allegations of vote rigging.
The primary was won by Gayoom’s half brother, MP Abdulla Yameen. Ilyas and Yameen are believed to have had a longstanding feud following Ilyas’s clash with Gayoom and subsequent banishment in 1998.
Tensions between the government and the PPM were exacerbated recently with the defection and dismissal of several high profile figures, such as former Home Minister Dr Mohamed Jameel – now Yameen’s running mate.
“This is a sad day for PPM. Hon Ilyas has left the party. He was such a big asset to us. I thank him for being with us from the beginning,” Gayoom tweeted, following the recent announcement.