People’s Alliance (PA) leader Abdullah Yaameen has told local reporters that he would stand as presidential candidate for the opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP), if a primary is held for the position.
Speaking to the DhiTV channel, Yaameen, brother of the former president and DRP leader Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, said that he would consider standing as a single presidential candidate representing a “coalition” of opposition parties.
The comments were made amidst claims of a divide among some in the DRP concerning supporters of current party head, Ahmed Thasmeen Ali and those of former Deputy Leader Umar Naseer, who was dismissed on December 2 this year by a party disciplinary committee. Naseer has moved to claim that this dismissal was illegal under the DRP constitution, a claim rejected Thasmeen.
Naseer told Minivan News that he travelled to Malaysia this week with a number of party representatives to discuss both Gayoom’s and his own political future within the DRP, including an offer for the former president to stand once again for the nation’s top political position. He added, that no decision had yet been taken by Gayoom
Naseer claimed however that Gayoom had committed to begin travelling around the Maldives during next year’s local council elections to try and win voter confidence, as well as personally backing him in the dismissal dispute.
“Mr Gayoom believes that the dismissal was illegal and he wants the party to abide by its own constitution and still believes that I hold the office,” he claimed.
DRP Deputy Leader Ibrahim Shareef said at the time that the party has not sought to talk with Gayoom or contact him regarding the rival faction in the party, and added that he was not concerned over the potential involvement of the “honorary leader.”