Former defence chief and two MPs among high-profile switches to pro-government parties

Former Chief of Defence Forces Major General (Retired) Moosa Ali Jaleel and Malé City Councillor Lufshan Shakeeb ‘Loope’ – formerly of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) – signed for the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) yesterday.

Independent MP for Kulhudhufushi South, Mohamed ‘Kutti’ Nasheed, also signed for the PPM today and announced that he would seek re-election on the party’s ticket. Nasheed served in the cabinet of former President Gayoom as information and legal reform minister.

Meanwhile, MDP MP Ahmed Rasheed joined the government-aligned Jumhooree Party (JP).

Speaking at a ceremony attended by former president and PPM leader, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, Jaleel said he joined “to serve the public through PPM,” adding that he believed the current government’s policies would ensure development and “save the country”.

After 32 years of service, the chief of defence forces under former President Mohamed Nasheed retired from the military in the wake of the controversial transfer of presidential power in February 2012.

In January 2013, Jaleel told parliament’s Government Oversight Committee that he believed former President Nasheed had “resigned under duress.”

Shakeeb – city councillor for mid-Henveiru – meanwhile said he decided to join PPM based on the focus and opportunities for youth in the party’s manifesto. The film actor quit the MDP in the wake of the party’s electoral defeat in November 2013.

In addition to Jaleel and Shakeeb, senior members of the Maziya Supporters club as well as television presenter Aminath Namza also signed for PPM at yesterday’s ceremony.

Warm welcome to Moosa Jaleel, Lufshan Shakeeb, Aminath Namza n other prominent figures who joined PPM in my presence last night,” Gayoom tweeted to announce the new members.

Speaking to press at the party office yesterday, Gayoom contended that the new government “could not provide the services it wants to the public without winning the [upcoming local council and parliamentary] elections.”

“A PPM majority will pave the way to go ahead with the PPM manifesto,” he said.

MDP Male’ City Councillor ‘Jambu’ Hassan Afeef also joined the PPM at today’s ceremony. In addition to Nasheed and Afeef, Maldives Broadcasting Corporation Chairman Ibrahim Umar Manik signed for the party this afternoon.

With the new signings, the PPM currently has two councillors on the 11-member Male’ City Council.

Ahmed Rasheed to JP

MDP MP for Hoarafushi Ahmed Rasheed signed for the JP at a ceremony in the party’s headquarters Maafanu Kunooz yesterday.

JP leader Gasim Ibrahim told reporters that Rasheed had offered to join the party “a long time ago” while he was JP’s sole representative in parliament.

“But I said stay there, in MDP, for now. I believe Ahmed Rasheed is a person who worked very hard and transparently for democracy in the Maldives while in MDP,” the business tycoon said.

Rasheed said he decided to join the JP because the public chose the government coalition in last year’s presidential election.

Praising Gasim for his services to the public, Rasheed said he would seek re-election in the Hoarafushi constituency, adding that parliamentary seats were “more important to the government coalition” than the opposition.

Gasim said that Rasheed would be given the JP ticket without a primary by virtue of being a sitting MP, adding that he believed JP MPs should be able to contest on behalf of the coalition for their constituencies.

The Hoarafushi MP was among six MDP MPs who voted against the oppposition party’s whip line to approve President Abdulla Yameen’s ministerial appointees last month.


5 thoughts on “Former defence chief and two MPs among high-profile switches to pro-government parties”

  1. Its a pseudo-democracy. One decides which party to support.

    However, once a Maldivian, you will NEVER be able to leave the glorious religion. No matter how stupid the current religions are and how devastating the nuclear-fallouts due to them are.

  2. Is this normal that so many MP's switch sides? What do the people that elected them think about this? These MP's are like prostitutes.

    Or is the only way to get anything done for your constituency to be in the ruling party?

    Soon there will be no opposition.

  3. MDP is loosing it all ! poor Anni , hardly ever see him on news headlines now , its time to reform MDP with a more passion for Islam as the decreased attention to Islam was one of the main reasons for the downfall of MDP !

  4. Now we see the true colors of these "heroes". Everyone was wondering why Jaleel wasn't in uniform on Feb 7th and his inability to command forces on that day. Now you know why.

    This bodes ill for the future of democracy. A one party system is in the making.

  5. MDP - either people were blackmailed into that party or somebody owes something to that party, there aint real party love amongst the members 😛


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