Ibrahim ‘Sandhaanu’ Moosa Luthfee signs for PPM

Ibrahim ‘Sandhaanu’ Moosa Luthfee has signed up as a member of the government-aligned Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), currently led by former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.

Luthfee signed for the PPM last night after the party inaugurated a campaign post in Male’ with its election coalition partner, the Maldives Development Alliance (MDA), local media has reported.

Sun Online pictured Luthfee handing over his membership form in person to the former president after singing for the party.

Luthfee was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Gayoom administration for publishing an anti-government newspaper before fleeing the country in 2005 when he was taken to Sri Lanka for medical treatment.

He was granted clemency by Gayoom’s successor, former President Mohamed Nasheed.

Luthfee has since become an outspoken critic of Nasheed, accusing the former president of having “hijacked the system”, according to Sun Online.

In September 2012, Luthfee was appointed as an advisor to President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan after returning to the Maldives from self-imposed exile in Switzerland.

The government confirmed in May this year that he had been dismissed from the advisor role after failing to show up for work for a number of months after having taken leave.

President’s Office Media Secretary Masood Imad told Minivan News at the time that the decision had been taken to terminate Luthfee’s advisory role – stated in local media to be a salaried position with a monthly wage of MVR 32,000 (US$2,075) – after he was found not to have returned to work for a significant period of time.

Masood was unable to clarify if Luthfee had continued to receive wages during the period of leave, but expressed his personal belief that this would be unlikely.

“This is a bureaucratic issue and I think that it is normal to dismiss someone if they don’t come to work for four months or whatever,” he said. “In such a case, If I overstay my leave, I believe I would not be continued to be paid if I did not return to work. We haven’t been on top of this matter, but I’m sure payments would have been stopped through the bureaucratic system we have.”