People’s Alliance (PA) MP and Parliament Deputy Speaker Ahmed Nazim has revealed he intends to join Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM).
Nazim told local media that despite being PA’s parliamentary group leader, he had always worked closely with the PPM since the party’s inception in October 2011.
PA’s former president, Abdulla Yameen, was elected as PPM’s presidential candidate on Saturday (March 30) ahead of the 2013 presidential elections in September.
“PA was formed for a specific purpose wasn’t it? It was formed for the political future of Yameen as he wanted out of the DRP [Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party] at the time,” Nazim told local newspaper Haveeru.
“So when Yameen chose to further his political career through PPM the result is very clear isn’t it? However, my switch to DRP had to be put off as the political party bill was still in the parliament,” he explained.
PPM is the second largest party in the Maldives with a total of 22,765 members, according to February’s figures. The party is led by former autocratic ruler of the Maldives and half-brother of Yameen, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.
In regards to the PA, Nazim stated that future progress of the Maldives lies with the functioning of larger parties, hence why he voted in favour of the Political Parties Act to dissolve parties with less than 10,000 members.
The Political Parties Act, ratified by President Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik on March 12, saw a total of 11 parties removed from the Election Commission’s political parties register – including the PA.
Out of the 16 parties that had existed prior to the bill’s ratification, only the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), PPM, Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party, Jumhoree Party and Adhaalath Party remain registered in the Maldives.
“It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t listen to smaller parties. But if so there is a fear that it would lead to a tribal system in the Maldives,” Nazim told local media.
“If we start giving every party a seat in the cabinet and companies, the whole thing will function without a proper system. We can see that from the coalitions we’ve formed so far,” he added.
According to local media, PPM will have secured a total of 19 seats in parliament should Nazim sign to the party.
Although Nazim did not give an exact date for the switch, he told Haveeru that it would take place “very soon”.
Deputy Speaker Ahmed Nazim was not responding to calls from Minivan News at time of press.