Gayoom welcomes prospect of President Waheed standing in PPM primary

Former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom said yesterday that he had not ruled out the possibility of current President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan standing in the next general election as a Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) candidate.

“The president, or anyone else, can join PPM if they want, and if they win the [party’s] primary, they will become our presidential candidate,” Gayoom was quoted as saying by Sun Online.

When questioned on elections by Indian newspaper The Hindu during his recent visit to Sri Lanka, President Waheed himself said he was “contemplating” running for “a second term” in office after coming to power in February.  He added at the time that a final decision on the matter would be taken over the next few months.

Waheed is currently leader of the Gaumee Ittihad Party (GIP), which has no representation in either the People’ Majlis or local councils and just 898 registered members, according to the latest figures from the Elections Commission (EC).

By comparison, the PPM has 17,298 members with another 1,233 membership forms awaiting processing. The PPM is the minority leading party in the People’s Majlis.  PPM spokesman Ahmed Mahlouf was not responding to calls at the time of press regarding Gayoom’s comments.

Under parliamentary rules of procedure, bills to raise or lower taxes and import duties can only be submitted on behalf of the government by an MP of the president’s party.

The GIP has not been invited to this week’s inter-party talks, which seek to reach consensus on how to proceed following the release of the Commission of National Inquiry (CNI) report on August 30.

President’s Spokesman Masood Imad has said that Waheed will appear at the talks, but in his capacity as leader of the country rather than leader of his party.

Meanwhile, Ahmed Faiz, Deputy CEO of Maldives Ports Limited (MPL) and a GIP council member, told Minivan News today that Waheed’s decision regarding his party affiliation was his own to make.

When asked whether he would follow Waheed to the PPM, should he join the party, Faiz responded:

“I am a supporter of Waheed as an individual. My political path will follow any route Waheed’s career takes.”

When speaking with reporters before leaving for India last night, Gayoom is reported as saying that he had yet to rule out his own candidacy for the PPM primary, for which no date has yet been set.

Back in May, the PPM’s Deputy Leader Umar Naseer said that, although anyone could contest the PPM primaries, he did not expect Waheed to stand for a second term. He added that he would back Gayoom should he decide to stand for the nomination.

The former President of 30 years, Gayoom retired from active politics in 2010, becoming Honorary Leader of the Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) – the party he founded to contest the country’s first multi-party presidential elections in 2008.

However, after losing the election to Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), divisions within the DRP led Gayoom to form a breakaway party – the PPM.

Following the controversial resignation of Nasheed in February this year – which resulted in former Vice President Waheed taking up the presidency – the MDP have campaigned relentlessly for early elections.

President Waheed maintains that he is bound by the constitution, which mandates that polls be held no earlier than July 2013, as well as stating repeatedly his belief that further legislation is needed to prepare the country for fresh elections.

“We do not have a legal frame work for a coalition government. And, unless we put these basic building blocks of legislation in place, we will face the same problems again,” he told The Hindu last week.

“What’s the point of having an election if you haven’t solved some of these problems?” he asked.

Both the EU and the Commonwealth have urged the current government to schedule elections for this year, although Waheed has expressed his opinion that these institutions have now changed tack.

“Those who have been demanding early elections before the end of the year now realise that it was premature…We have a Constitution. I will uphold that Constitution,” he told The Hindu.

Back in April, the US government pledged US$500,000 (MVR7.7 million) for an elections programme to assist Maldivian institutions in ensuring a free and fair presidential election.


10 thoughts on “Gayoom welcomes prospect of President Waheed standing in PPM primary”

  1. Faiz's quote..."I am a supporter of Waheed as an individual. My political path will follow any route Waheed’s career takes.”

    This sense of allegiance to a person, common in contemporary Maldivian political culture, seems pre-modern. It seems detrimental to moral, democratic and national development, for SO very many reasons.

    I think, serve ALL, respect ALL, but only support a person if they do what is right.

    Easy for me to say I know. But I have met Maldivians also who, for example, have praised Maumoon, Anni, Waheed and Gasim for what they have done right, and have also criticized Maumoon, Anni, Waheed and Gasim for what they felt was wrong.

  2. PPM 'offer' to Waheed is some thing that Waheed cannot refuse, and should not refuse.

    The 'offer' to join PPM is akin to a threat of a hostile takeover on a target company.

    The only way to fend off the threat of the 'takeover' is to form a coalition that is stronger than PPM. However, even if all the remaining parties join up to defend Waheed from takeover, the numbers cannot be produced. And without MDP, such a coalition is unlikely. Conversely, with other's experience with MDP as a partner, a broad based coalition with MDP is also unlikely.

    So Waheed has 2 options. Either join PMM or form a narrow coalition (Adaalath, Jumhoory, Qaumee).

    In either case Waheed may not survive a primary.

    But there may be a 3rd option. Waheed can bring out 100 percent focus as a good statesman and in the present interim set up. Use the remaining months in office to show his best while forgetting re-election.

    If he can create stability, turn around the economy and bring hope, Maldivians will demand Waheed in 2013.

    The less Waheed concentrates on politics, the better for him now.

  3. It is extremely likely that Prez Waheed will be endorsed by PPM as their Presidential Candidate with Yameen as the running mate.

    I don't think Waheed will immediately join PPM but he would most probably do so after the next year's elections (if he wins).

    In this scenario, it will be Prez Waheed contesting (with Maumoon's blessings) against Thasmeen, Gasim and whoever it may be from MDP (if they participate in the elections.)

    If the Presidential Election goes as above, it is clear that Prez Waheed will either win outright in the first round or come up with maximum votes to contest in the second round which he can win easily against either Thasmeen or Gasim.

    MDP supporters will now be fuming to read this. My answer to them is that I don't believe that Nasheed's name will be on the ballot in next year's Presidential Elections.

  4. Everybody already knows that Gayoom is Waheed's puppetmaster so why not make it official?

  5. This is a carrot hung to trap Mohamed Waheed in to believing of a second term and sacrifice his international standing and for him to remain a hostage of power hungry coalition and wh en th e time comes th e old fox Maumoon will destroy Waheed,Jameel and Gasim. Good luck sucke rs

  6. Qayoom thought the Maldivian will never reach to maturity where they can point finger at his inefficiency and incompetency. He was so arrogant and had narcissist traits he could not tolerate any criticism of him. Thanks Anni for bringing this guy to his size. Qayyom had impression that knowing how to preach Islamic sermon. Washing dead bodies, leading Juma prayer, translating Quranic verses is what required governing the country. We have seen him mocking at Anni and sarcastically saying Nasheed does not qualify to be the president because he can’t do above said Islamic rituals. We all Maldivian are grateful with instinct or with intelligence for Anni for having downsized these so called gundas who thought the general public are dimwits and slaves who should be bowing their head to these gundas like Maumoon as cult do to their leader, because he is chosen one , When we intellectually look at the current transformation of Maldivian society to inclusive and free people our heart goes to Anni who has sown the idea of creating fearless people. Without fearless people you can’t create a liberal society. We have seen Anni walking to his office like an ordinary person to show the people that we In Maldives do not need armed escort driving in limousine to go to office. We are just a small nation with very humble people and we don’t need to act like American president. We can never forget Anni for sealing this grandiose showcase created by a fanatic, cult leader Qayoom. Also we are thankful for anni for initiating a governing system to serve people not to rule people.

  7. @Maree: I am no longer convinced Maumoon is quite the monster his enemies paint him to be. Nor do I believe he is the Saint his followers portray him to be.

    However, I found your following words to be very, very moving and so beautifully written....

    "...Our heart goes to Anni who has sown the idea of creating fearless people. Without fearless people you can’t create a liberal society. We have seen Anni walking to his office like an ordinary person to show the people that we In Maldives do not need armed escort driving in limousine to go to office. We are just a small nation with very humble people and we don’t need to act like American president...."

    THAT portrays the side of Anni which I love and revere very deeply... That Anni, the selfless non-violent warrior for liberty, is the Anni I want to see more of now...

  8. did Ben beg minivan news for your email address like he always does?
    Ben needs treatment for his diagnosed mental problem, get a job and support his wife and two children.
    Ben is not in condition to help anyone else because he is in need of psychiatric treatment.


Comments are closed.