Will increase PPM membership to 65,000 if elected: Yameen

Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) presidential primary candidate Abdulla Yameen has claimed he will increase the party’s membership to 65,000 before the September elections.

According to figures from the Elections Commission, PPM has a total of 22,765 members as of February, meaning that Yameen will have to increase the party’s membership by 37,235 in just six months to reach his target.

Speaking at a campaign rally on Sunday (March 24), Yameen said that on  request of his half-brother, former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, he had worked to increase the party’s membership since it was first established, local media reported.

“If you give us assurance from the vote on the 30th, by the time we reach the presidential election, with more effort and without show of any fatigue, by August I will increase our party’s count from 31,000 to 60,000 or 65,000, God willing,” Yameen was quoted as saying in SunOnline.

The presidential primary candidate claimed that PPM is the most legitimate of political parties as fingerprints are recorded when registering members to the party.

According to local media, Gayoom’s children made an appearance at Sunday’s rally in order to show support for Yameen.

In a display of solidarity, Dhunya Maumoon, Farish Maumoon, Gassan Maumoon and Yumna’s husband Mohamed Nadheem went on stage to hold hands with Yameen, local media reported.

PPM’s former Deputy Leader Abdul Raheem Abdulla reportedly told the audience that because Gayoom’s children supported Yameen, it would be a reason to vote for him.

Both Yameen and Umar Naseer are competing in the PPM presidential primary on March 30.