Gayoom may contest 2013 presidential election

Former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, interim leader of the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), has signalled that he may run for the presidency in 2013.

Gayoom told Indian newspaper The Hindu yesterday (December 11) that he may consider contesting in a presidential election expected in August or September next year.

“Things change very frequently. So I am keeping my options open,” Gayoom was quoted as saying. “[If I run] it won’t be out of my choice, if ever, it will be out of compulsion. Because I feel I have served the country for 30 years and I feel it is up to other people [now].”

Gayoom however insisted that he preferred not to run.

Since its formation in October 2011, the government-aligned PPM has postponed its national congress on three occasions, despite the party’s charter or regulations stipulating that a congress must be held within six months of registration.

The party held its inaugural convention in October 2011.

In October this year, local daily Haveeru reported that that the party cited “political turmoil” as the reason for the delays.

Gayoom meanwhile told The Hindu that the party’s presidential primary will take place in February after the national congress currently scheduled for January 2013.

“Asked if current President Mohamed Waheed stood a chance to be nominated by PPM as its candidate for presidency, Mr Gayoom said that this can only be decided after Dr Waheed joins the PPM,” The Hindu reported.

Former President Mohamed Nasheed – who defeated Gayoom in the 2008 presidential election with 54 percent of the vote to Gayoom’s 45 percent – said at a rally last month that he believed President Waheed will become PPM’s presidential candidate with Gayoom’s backing.

Nasheed alleged that his former vice president held secret consultations with the PPM figurehead before the controversial transfer of presidential power on February 7.

“Dr Waheed has been scheming with President Maumoon for about two years, that I know of,” he said. “Sometimes in an uninhabited island in Baa Atoll, other times in Alivaage [Gayoom’s former residence]. They have been discussing and talking in different places. Anyone who thinks of carrying out a coup d’etat will know that one thing you need for it is a disloyal vice president.”

In August, Waheed told the Hindu during a visit to Sri Lanka that he was “contemplating” running for office in 2013.

“What I have said is that our administration supports the earliest date for Presidential elections allowed under the Constitution. That in my mind will be July, 2013. I am hoping that the election will be at that time,” he was quoted as saying.

In the same month, former President Gayoom publicly welcomed the prospect of Dr Waheed competing in a primary for the party’s ticket.

In May, PPM Deputy Leader Umar Naseer told local media that Dr Waheed could potentially become the party’s presidential candidate. Naseer however claimed earlier that Waheed would not stand for re-election.

Naseer, along with PPM parliamentary group leader and brother of its interim leader, MP Abdulla Yameen, are the only two candidates that have announced their intention to compete in the primary.

Naseer has however said that he would not compete against former President Gayoom.

Dr Waheed meanwhile is currently leader of the GIP, which has no representation in either the People’ Majlis or local councils and just 3,170 registered members, according to the latest figures from the Elections Commission (EC).

By comparison, PPM currently has 17,111 members and is the minority party in parliament. The party has also won ten out of 13 by-elections held since its inception last year.

Speaking at a PPM rally last month, Gayoom urged senior leaders of the party to be mindful of the party’s unity during their campaigns for the upcoming primary.

At a press conference in September 2011, where the formation of the PPM was announced, Gayoom refused to rule out a presidential bid, stressing that he had not made a decision and would do so “when the time comes.”

“My answer is that the time [for a primary] has not come and we’ll know when it does,” he said after being asked repeatedly by reporters if he intended to run again.

On whether his role as leader of the new party contradicted an announcement in February 2010 that he was retiring from active politics, Gayoom said he made the decision based on the assurance that the Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) would function “according to certain principles.”

Gayoom left the DRP to form the PPM following an acrimonious split within the DRP and a public spat with his successor and former vice-presidential candidate, DRP Leader and MP for Baa Atoll Kendhoo Ahmed Thasmeen Ali

“At the time and even up till yesterday, I was at the most senior post of one of the largest political parties in the country,” he said. “So how can it be said that the person in the highest post of a political party is not involved in politics? Up till yesterday I was in politics. Today I am forced to create a new party because of the state of the nation and because it has become necessary to find another way for the country.”


14 thoughts on “Gayoom may contest 2013 presidential election”

  1. The excuse he gave is, if the maldivian public begs him to contest in the 2013 election then will do it.

    I guess 30 years as dictator of maldives was not enought for him, he has some unfinished business.

  2. Maumoon Gayoom is a sick man. So is Mohamed Nasheed. If we are to ever live in peace we have to get these two mad men out of politics.

  3. It is interesting to observe how a few characters attempt to use Maumoon as a ladder into power themselves.

    On the other hand, it is even more insightful to see how, Maumoon knows these people are trying to use him - pretends to be deceived by it, yet is actually manipulating them to make sure attention is focused on himself as the GREAT ZAEEM for as long as possible before he is challenged from every angle.

    As interesting as these petty little power games maybe, however, whilst you guys enjoy "playing games" the rest of the country is falling to pieces with anxiety over the future. - That anxiety is manifesting in MANY different and destructive ways (gangsetrism, extremism, corruption, mental illness, depression...)

  4. Oh and, by the way, these petty little power games - manipulation, lies, ruthless deceipt, exploitation of people's dreams and ambitions, exploitation of people's deepest feelings, of people's fears and loves, of people's grief, are played out on both sides, yellow and blue.

    Its one thing to sell your own soul to Iblis (just a metaphor to personify greed and lust) for power, hell politicians are dirty as all hell we know that! But I think someone has to stand up and make you face some consequences for stealing everybody else's soul and selling that to your Devil as well!

  5. This is the good news that Anni has been waiting for.

    There is no better hope for Anni than the prospect of dissent/protest vote again Maumoon.

    Anni is not popular at all. But Anni won in 2008 only based on protest votes against a 30 year rule.

    So history is repeating again. Maumoon is giving away the presidency to Anni again.

    This is the best news for MDP for a long time.

    A very silly move by Maumoon.

  6. This is Gayyoom who will never accept defeat either way!
    He already have punished the people for the defeat they caused in 2008 and is now looking at those who were instrumental.

    This was never unexpected.

    Hadhi Hassan Rasgefaanu is said to have killed his son to reclaim the throne. This guy will kill the BIL, half brother or even sons and daughters, if they were eyeing that chair!

  7. i dont known if majority maldivians prefer gayoom,but when i was there in maldives 2004-2006 he seem to personify stability in maldives ,but then the average maldivian is smart enough to vote who is the best guy to lead their nation

  8. This talk by Gayyoom is crazy. May be he thinks i hasn't changed from when he was in power but nobody can compule others to be the presidential candidate.

    It is his choice and his choice alone. We want a president who is energetic, enthusiastic and most of all one who WANTS to do it out of his own will. Not someone who will feel that he is doing others a favour as their president.

  9. we do not want both Anni and Gayyoom ever to come back.

    These two dictators need to stay away from our daily life.

  10. Maumoon is the smartest politician this country has produced in our modern history. He is cunning as a fox.

    My guess is he is seriously toying with the idea of contesting. Its in his blood. Its who he is. Power crazy till the end.

    I am no fan of the man. This country deserves better than Maumoon or Nasheed. These two men are the root cause of all our troubles. Both should not be part of any future leadership of the Maldives. As long as they dominate the two sides of the Maldivian Political Theater, this country will see no peace, no unity, no progress and/or no sanity.

    Although Maumoon may be considering a run, that is not to say he will actually run. This man will calculate till the last minute and make his decision at a later stage. He is crafty, calculating and ultimately a realist who will make his call after considering all the factors when the time comes to make decision.

    Nasheed will most probably be in jail by the time Maumoon will have to make a decision. Therefore, Maumoon's rivals will need to play their cards right if they wish to eliminate his chances. Only then will the man step back and decide not to contest.

    Maumoon will remain a considerable force in Maldivian Politics even if he decides not to run. He will definitely wield powerful influence during the next Presidential & Majlis elections and beyond.

    I am hoping that neither Maumoon nor Nasheed will return back to haunt this country again.


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