Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) has condemned its erstwhile ‘Honorary Leader’ and former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom for saying the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) outpaced the main opposition party while it was “in a slumber.”
Speaking at a rally in Thaa Atoll Guraidhoo on Saturday, Gayoom reportedly said that the MDP became both the largest political party and the majority party in parliament after the new DRP leadership took over.
In a statement put out yesterday, the DRP said Gayoom’s remarks concerning the party were misleading and “contained serious lies.”
Among the alleged falsehoods, the statement noted that the MDP came to power in 2008 after defeating Gayoom, who was DRP’s presidential candidate and ‘Zaeem’ at the time.
“One of the main reasons for DRP having to face one of its biggest defeats and MDP coming to power and causing despair for most citizens was the fact that the whole presidential campaign was run by Gayoom’s eldest son Farish Maumoon as a family matter,” it reads.
It adds that while the DRP under the leadership of Ahmed Thasmeen Ali emerged successful in the past two elections, “we note with regret that the party was unable to win a single election under President Maumoon’s leadership when it was in the government.”
On the loss of MPs in parliament, the statement noted that former President Gayoom lost majority control in the past despite the presence of eight appointed MPs after brother Abdulla Yameen left the DRP with a number of MPs.
Moreover, the statement continues, it was “questionable today” whether the Z-faction’s public criticism of the DRP leadership and “pointing accusatory fingers at the DRP, the party’s leadership, MPs, councillors, senior members sweating to enliven the party in the islands and the party’s common members” was in the service of “the nation and religion.”
The statement concludes by saying that since infighting among the opposition would benefit the ruling party, “it has become clear to the public today that such actions shows the lack of truthfulness and sincerity of the people around President Maumoon.”
Gayoom meanwhile returned to Male’ today after visiting islands in Laamu and Thaa atolls to promote the incipient Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and recruit new members.
The former DRP Zaeem was quoted in local media as saying that the DRP lost ground to the ruling party because of “lack of effort and attention” by the new leadership.
“We cannot achieve anything in the political arena in such a state,” Gayoom said. “That is why we are forming this party. We are forming PPM for a noble purpose.”