JP claims many more MPs set to join party after presidential election

The Jumhoree Party (JP) has said “many more MPs” are expected to pledge support to its leader, MP Gasim Ibrahim, following the conclusion of the upcoming presidential election – claiming an unspecified number have already pledged to work with the party.

The claims were made as the JP, held its first major event in the capital in order to publicise an election alliance formed with the religious conservative Adhaalath Party and the Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP).

Minivan News witnessed several thousand people in attendance at yesterday’s event, which saw several speakers including Gasim take to a specially constructed stage to address supporters and confirm that MP Ahmed Rasheed has switched to the party from the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM).

The rally was held in the same location, where the MDP staged a meeting on Monday (August 12) to bring several thousand supporters together both as a show of strength and to commemorate the 12th anniversary of Black Friday in 2004.

Both parties events this week appeared to have been similarly attended, with MDP sources estimating that around 6000 seats had been set out for supporters during its rally.

“Major event”

With the election scheduled for September 7 – three weeks from today – JP Policy Secretary Mohamed Ajmal said that yesterday’s rally was planned as a “major event” to show the support base behind the Jumhoree coalition.

Speaking during the event, Gasim dismissed criticisms of his wealth by rival candidates in the election, adding that none of his competitors could be described as poor men.

He also pledged with his hand on the Quran that he would not take the smallest amount of funds from the public “against the constitution”.

Other speakers during the event slammed former President Mohamed Nasheed, accusing his administration of irreligious policies.

According to customs records for 2011, Gasim’s Villa Hotels chain – including the Royal, Paradise, Sun, and Holiday Island resorts, in 2011 imported approximately 121,234.51 litres of beer, 2048 litres of whiskey, 3684 litres of vodka and 219.96 kilograms of pork sausages, among other commodities restricted to islands classified as ‘uninhabited’ in the Maldives.

Speaking today, Ajmal claimed the party unofficially estimated some 10,000 to 15,000 attended the event, with some 20,000 supporters said to have been invited – although he believed not all had been able to travel from across the country.

He added that the JP had not itself provided boats to bring supporters to Male’ for the rally, opting instead to provide fuel for transportation and some unspecified “facilities” for supporters when they reached the capital.

MP switch

With MP Ahmed Rasheed having now joined the JP, Ajmal claimed that many more parliamentarians were “trying to work” with the party, though declined to give further details to media at time of press.

“These names have not yet been finalised. Because of the political situation at present, we will wait until after the election, though there are many MPs working with us,” he said today.

In the build up to next month’s scheduled voting, Ajmal said the JP had several further campaign plans that would be divulged at a later date.

He added that the JP remained confident it would achieve a comfortable second round election victory should no candidate obtain 51 per cent of the first round of voting.

However, Ajmal said that based on the strength of the country’s internal polling and research, there was growing optimism that Gasim could claim the presidency during the first round on the strength of what it perceived was growing grass roots support across the country.

“Our vice presidential candidate Dr Hassan Saeed said last night that it was reasonable to believe that if we work hard and continue with our great momentum, we might achieve 51 percent [in the first round],” he said.

PPM anticipates two candidate contest

Despite the JP’s confidence ahead of the election, the government-aligned PPM earlier this month maintained that former President Mohamed Nasheed of the MDP and its candidate, Abdulla Yameen, were the only two candidates capable of winning the election.

PPM MP Ahmed Nihan at the time dismissed any notion that the JP posed a threat to its own presidential campaign, accusing Gasim of using his financial power to buy support during his campaigning that would not translate to actual votes on polling day.

The MDP meanwhile has this week reiterated its belief that a first round victory was possible, with the PPM receiving the second largest number of votes, while expecting President Dr Mohamed Waheed and Gasim to finish in third and fourth place.

“The PPM I believe will come second because it is led by the former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom. He will obviously have loyal supporters,” MDP MP Hamid Abdul Ghafoor said this week.

“But it may be a different story when it comes to recruiting their young support base. Apart from Gayoom, both Gasim and even Waheed are using money to get votes.”

Ghafoor described the current election politics as a battle between the past and the future, claiming the MDP’s three opponents were proxies of former President Gayoom’s 30 year reign and had nothing new to offer to the people.

Sources within President Waheed’s ‘forward with the nation’ coalition have over the last week also expressed confidence of being able to obtain a first round election win despite expressing concern over a “money game” it alleged was being played by certain candidates.


3 thoughts on “JP claims many more MPs set to join party after presidential election”

  1. What's the difference between "Sheikh Imran" and a 6th century A.D. ignorant like Abu Jahl?

    (1) Abu Jahl, when confronted with overwhelming evidence would jump up and down and disclaim the obvious: it must be black magic!

    (2) "Sheikh" Imran when confronted with the thousands of MDP supporters, cannot digest the truth. He claims it's all black magic!

    Two characters, separated by thousands of years, yet, on the same mental level!

  2. I can tell you what's going to happen after the presidential election. Gasim will roast all the leeches that are currently gathered around him, feeding on his blood. He will realise that he's been taken for a ride by a hound of fools.

    After Gasim miserably loses the race, all those seeking shelter under his $$$, will scurry like rats jumping off a ship on fire. Black Magic Imran will do a disappearing act, using Black Magic, of course! Mark my words.

  3. @Ahmed Bin Addu Bin Suvadheeb.
    You just said it right!
    Imrah! Forget him!
    Gasim is probably taken for a ride never being taken before!

    "He also pledged with his hand on the Quran that he would not take the smallest amount of funds from the public “against the constitution”."

    Gasim so far has not told anything more true than this!

    If elected, he, Gasim, Buruma Gasim, would never take the smallest amount of funds from the public, "against the constitution". this is the catch!

    Hypocrisy must be made of sterner stuff than this! When oaths are taken on this level, even fools will see catches and loop holes!

    Most probably none of the companies of Villa or the Resort Hotels will be under his name! It would be distributed between his sons and daughters, not forgetting the wives!

    Villa Shipping and Trading, as I understand is already shared between those who were clever enough to take a share (when Gasim was having a tiff with the Gayyooms when MAG was all powerful)!

    So Gasim is true! If and ever, he is elected President, and even if Villa is honoured with all civil and marine constructions that are to be carried out during his term in office, he, Gasim, Buruma Gasim is not going to be involved, ever! Because there is no legal binding with him and Villa! Simple!

    MPs bought off the auction block also can trim, turn and pass constitution (just like MAG did), such he, Gasim, Buruma Gasim cannot be held responsible for anything he does during his term in office! He is off the hook even if he does anything!

    He is right for once! He can stack dozens and dozens of the Holy Quran, even thrice taller than his height, climb up a ladder, lay his hands atop, and swear just as he has done (I am sure this must be a gimmick from the "atar boys")!

    To my belief, he will be passing a budget for well over 20 billion Rufiya, and award all constructions and everything to Villa (ofcourse legally), pull back what he spent on the campaign and over the horse trade.

    Voters and the Maldives can wait, just like his resort staff is held in waiting for their service charge!


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