Former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, founder and ‘Honorary Leader’ (Zaeem) of the opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP), resigned his post and left the party today followed by MPs of the DRP’s breakaway ‘Zaeem’ faction.
DRP Media Coordinator Ali Solih confirmed to Minivan News today that apart from Gayoom’s letter of resignation, the party has so far received letters from MPs Ahmed Mahlouf, Ahmed Nihan Hussein Manik and Ali Arif.
The Z-faction began collecting signatures to register a new party last night with Gayoom’s half-brother Abdulla Yameen becoming the first person to sign. Yameen has resigned as leader of minority opposition People’s Alliance (PA) and declared his intention to contest in the new party’s presidential primary.
Former DRP Deputy Leader Ilham Ahmed, who quit the party yesterday, was the second signatory after the MP for Mulaku.
After months of factional strife and a litany of grievances aired in the media, Gayoom withdrew his endorsement of DRP Leader Ahmed Thasmeen Ali in March this year, accusing his successor of “acting dictatorially” and violating the party’s charter in the controversial dismissal of Deputy Leader Umar Naseer.
Of the four deputy leaders elected in its third congress in March 2010, only Ibrahim ‘Mavota’ Shareef now remain. Deputy Leader Ali Waheed defected to the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) in May.
In his letter of resignation submitted today, Gayoom said he was “forced” to leave the party he had formed on July 21, 2005 because the DRP had become “politically toothless.”
“And you [Thasmeen] keep saying clearly in the media that you do not need my counsel,” reads the letter shared with local media. “The consequence of that was the loss of hope citizens had in this party. And DRP getting the bad name of the party that gives way to the government while remaining in name a responsible opposition party.”
Vili-Maafanu MP Ahmed Nihan told Minivan News that he expects the registration forms to be submitted to the Elections Commission (EC) tomorrow.
“We decided to form this party because found out that we cannot work along with DRP Leader Ahmed Thasmeen Ali, and we had difficulties in working within the DRP parliamentary group,” Nihan said. “So the only way we can work in accordance of with our principles is to form a new party.’’
While the Z-faction has been functioning independently of the DRP council since April this year, Nihan added that supporters of former President Gayoom had met him on numerous occasions to request that he create a new party.
“We requested him to change his mind and to form this party many times, but then he did not wanted to form a new party, but we are very grateful that he has now changed his mind and decided to form this party,” he said.
Nihan said the main goal of the party was to return to government by defeating the MDP in the next presidential election.
“Many experienced politicians have expressed interest in this party and have singed to this party, and I was surprised that many MDP supporters as well as many citizens that have never joined a party has signed up,” he claimed.
“It is to be noted that we will go for a primary to elect our presidential candidate, and this is a party open for everyone, the ladders to climb up are open for everyone,” he said.
A name for the new party has not yet been finalised, Nihan said.
Z-faction spokesperson and Galolhu South MP Ahmed Mahlouf meanwhile reiterated that Thasmeen was “making deals with the government.”
Mahlouf called Thasmeen “incompetent and dictatorial,” adding that it was “not possible for anyone to work with him.”
“Thasmeen always put his interest and that of his family and associates above everything else,” he said.
DRP Media Cordinator Ali Solih said Thasmeen will publicly respond to the points raised in Gayoom’s letter.
Speaker of Parliament Abdulla Shahid, a member of the DRP council, meanwhile told local media yesterday that the Z-faction’s breakaway activities would see the party “cut up to little pieces.”
Meanwhile President Nasheed’s Press Secretary Mohamed Zuhair said at a press conference today that he doubted whether the former President would attract as much support as he expected.
“Maumoon won’t be able to gather as many members as he expects and I feel that he won’t get the support he expects either,” Zuhair predicted.
17 thoughts on “Gayoom, Z-faction MPs quit DRP to form new party”
Wonderful, Umar Naseer has expressed interest in contesting the primaries of the new, "I Love the Pharoah and the Leader is His Brother" party.
I'd like to sign up just to vote for Umar in the primaries.
I have never heard of this kind of development in the politics of any other country in the world. It is extremely interesting to me for that reason.I am also interested in the immense appetite Mr Gayoom still seems to have for politics and power in the Maldives which he ruled with such an iron hand for 30 long years. I can only think he believes that he must rule until he is incapacitated or dies. This kind of appetite is not a good thing for democracy, in my personal opinion.
This would certainly weaken DRP. We have to wait and see if people join this party! The reasons for forming this party contradicts with the fundamentals of democracy. The inability to accept the will of the majority. It appears to be a party for Gayyoom and his family and to a lesser degree his friends. Gayyoom picked Thasmeen and the result is his acceptance that his judgement is flawed.
People changing parties when there is a disagreement or creating a new party are like rolling stones -they will gather no moss and their judgment is questionable. How can such fickle minded people be put in charge of running a country. If we look at Yameen, he has been in DRP, PA and now in the new party. That is not a good sign of sound judgment from some one who wants the tip job.
Also the split in DRP could not have happened if DRP had an internal democracy. Where is the public accountability of these parties while they take public funds. By creating a new part, members are being taken for a ride again at the expense of tax payers.
I say withhold public funds for new political parties until they meet certain standards of accountability and governance. For the sake of public, some one should put a stop to this party circus.
It will be difficult for Golhabo to get meaningful members to join his new party since he now has no excess to government resources.
A dictator has no place in our society. They are working to hide their heinous crimes during their rule. People need to wake up.
Yameen signing up for the new party is like the captain jumping out of an aircraft while the passengers are still on board. So now we see how responsible this character Yameen.
Umar Naseer is doing a part-time masters just for this... sweet...
This Party should be called the "ruling party". It would please the zaeem. He can there forever be the the zaeem of the RULING PARTY
Greed knows no boundary and does not have one.
Hadhi Hassan Rasgefaan episode up next!
I don't mind Yaamin and Ali Arif joining Maumoon's party. But it saddens me to think that the young promising leaders like Mahloof and Nihan joining. Maumoon and Yaamin will never give them the leadership. not in a Million years.
The party should be named as Maumoon's Party.
I have no idea what Gayoom is thinking. We don't need him to bring changes. We just have had enough of him and his families. He is going to be surprised to see how little support he has got. It is time we stop this mad man
u people update last weeks news as if it happened today..whats minivan news ...last weeks news daily !!
Progressive party of Maldives cud be “Progressive Party of Maumoon” At his age I wish he wud bow away from politics and spend his time peacefully with his family. Its hard to listen to people bashing him left to right. 30 years of ruling a country with dignity is not enough for him. What’s wrong with his family. They shud not use him to satisfy their greed for power.
Agree with Naina. Even if this were his idea, his kids are old enough to have him declared senile and keep their dad at home. What the old man needs to do right now is sit back from all this and play elder statesman. That really should be enough. Or take up some cause like the Kashmiri conflict and play diplomat and peacemaker between India and Pakistan. Why he feels that he should be involved in active local politics is beyond me. Shame on you Mr Gayyoom. Shame.
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