Jumhoree Party Leader Gasim Ibrahim confident of securing presidential election in first round

Business tycoon and leader of the government-aligned Jumhoree Party (JP), MP Gasim Ibrahim, has expressed confidence he will win the upcoming presidential election in the first round of voting.

Speaking at a rally in the party’s Male’ headquarters yesterday (June 16), Gasim was quoted in local media as claiming that he was well placed to become the Maldives’ next president based on a recent spike in the JP’s membership.

According to the latest statistics from the Elections Commission (EC), the JP’s current membership stands at 12,154 members (five percent of eligible voters) with a further 1,374 membership forms pending approval.

The JP, a member of President Dr Mohamed Waheed’s coalition government, recently announced that it would decide whether to contest the election alone or within a coalition after the conclusion of its national conference later this month.

However with the party expected to officially unveil its leader during the congress, MP Abdul Raheem Abdulla said the JP anticipated fielding its own candidate during the election.

“What I will say is that our articles and regulations state that our leader has to run as a presidential candidate. We have to run for the seat on our own,” he said last week.

Raheem added that the party did nonetheless have criteria under which it would look to join a coalition.

Speaking last night, Gasim predicted a growing number of MPs would join his party and unite behind him in order to back a candidate he claimed could steer the country from corruption.

“[That leader] is Gasim Ibrahim,” he said.

Gasim is also the chairman of the Villa Group, which owns resorts, shipping lines, electronic stores and a cement packing factory in the Maldives. Gasim also owns private broadcaster Villa Television (VTV), and is a member of the Judicial Services Commission (JSC).

The MP for Maamigili claimed a surge in his party membership suggested that people were now thinking about what was best for the country and which party offered the best solution to the nation’s woes.

Gasim maintained that the public ultimately did not wish to elect a leader who would defy them, claiming instead that they wanted an experienced person capable of running the country.

“Even a fishing vessel must be handed over to a good captain,” he stressed.

Gasim claimed that with his wealth he had provided education for a lot of students, as well as covered medical expenses for a number of citizens.

If elected president in September, Gasim pledged to continue providing further help to the people, something he claimed the public were already aware of.

JP Spokesperson Moosa Rameez was not responding to calls at time of press regarding the comments.

The election is set to take place on September 7, and the Elections Commission (EC) has announced that a total of 241,000 people will be able to cast their vote in the second multi-party presidential vote to be held in the country since ratification of the 2008 constitution.

Two major political parties in the country – the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) and former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s government-aligned Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) – have so far announced their intentions to field candidates.

Incumbent President Dr Mohamed Waheed has also announced his intention to stand, backed by a coalition including his own Gaumee Iththihaadh Party (GIP), the Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP), Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) and religious conservative Adhaalath Party (AP).

The opposition MDP is fielding former President Mohamed Nasheed, who controversially resigned from office following a violent mutiny by sections of the police and military on February 7, 2012.

Both Nasheed and his party continue to allege his government was toppled in a bloodless coup d’etat, accusations that were later rejected by a Commonwealth-backed Commission of National Inquiry (CoNI).

The PPM will meanwhile be fielding former President Gayoom’s half-brother, MP Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, as its presidential candidate. Yameen secured the party’s ticket after a fierce presidential primary against former PPM activist Umar Naseer. Naseer was later dismissed from the party after making accusing Yameen vote rigging in the primary.

First round claims

Election rules dictate that a candidate must secure over 50 percent of the popular vote to secure the presidency in the first round. Should no candidate secure a simple majority, a run-off second round election is then required to be held 20 days later between the top two candidates.

Former President Nasheed, who commands the single largest political support base in the country in terms of party membership, has previously predicted that he would win the election within the first round with a 57 percent popular vote. The party claims to have been pledged 125,000 votes already – 52 percent of total eligible voters, or almost 60 percent of the first round assuming an 85 percent voter turnout (as the figure stood in 2008, another ‘high stakes’ election).

Former DRP Spokesperson Ibrahim Shareef said the party, which is backing President Waheed in the election, did not believe there was a single party in the country capable of securing an outright win in September.

“No party in the country will get more than 35 percent of the vote during the first round, even the MDP which remains the biggest single party,” he said last month.


16 thoughts on “Jumhoree Party Leader Gasim Ibrahim confident of securing presidential election in first round”

  1. I would like to sue Gasim for damages caused last night by his screaming campaigners. While other parties hold their campaigns away from the city's residential area, Gasim was stupid enough to continue bothering the public up until almost midnight.

    I shall sue him for... one hundred, million dollars.

  2. Well, based on paper DRP Spokesperson is right..

    I believe Nasheed will surely get more votes than any other candidate on first round, but he will not be able to secure the required 50% vote to win on first round.

    So who will make it to the second round along with Nasheed, i think it will be president Waheed.

    If so it will most likely be a repetition of second round of the 2008 elections..

    In this scenario what will PPM do? Will they back Waheed with Thasmeen as running mate?


    Support Nasheed? (possible, but very unlikely)

    And as for Gasim he will make a decision based on the future of his business and other personal interests. (he will probably back Waheed).

    Things are going to be very interesting in the coming days..

  3. "Gasim claimed that with his wealth he had provided education for a lot of students, as well as covered medical expenses for a number of citizens."

    That's not how philanthropists behave. Philanthropists spend their wealth on good causes not because they want something in return or seek the limelight.

    Gasim is clearly in a different league. He is claiming that BECAUSE he has helped people get an education or medical care, he deserves to run the country. Getting people to beg at his feet sounds like the practice of Sultans and Sultanas of Maldives that we have long hoped to have gotten rid of.

    We certainly don't want another Sultan in the making. O Great Sultan, how merciful you are.

  4. Gasim did not own anything at the time of 2008 presidential election; now he owns all assetsand businesses of villa group- not for long though-before September 7th the ownership will miraculously change

  5. The man is an idiot who single handily nearly bankrupt the country the last time he was in government

  6. @Hussein Ali on Mon, 17th Jun 2013 9:12 PM
    It was curiosity that killed the cat.
    By the look of it, it seems that it is stupidity that is going to kill Gasim!
    Gasim and the goons who work around him have have undoubtedly duped many youngsters who do not know the so called tycoon!
    It is said that the many promises made are still to be fulfilled.
    The are now very well aware of the real Gasim they thought to be a leader.
    They are ready to give him a "tit for tat" in return!
    When that happens, Gasim surely will feel the spikes!

  7. Nasheed, Yameen, Waheed and Qasim all claim they are confident of receiving >50% of the vote. So if we are to believe them, then it surely means the majority of the Maldivian electorate is going to give "baathil" votes! In this one instance, I really must agree with Mavota.

  8. The development loan that gasim was given during President Gayooms administration made it mandatory for him to give a percentage of his profits to education as well as charity under the social corporate responsibility clause. Sadly for those who studied with his financial assistance Gasim claims he did so out of the goodness of his heart. This is very similira to President Gayoom using the government welfare budget to provide financial assistance to those in need and then claim the money was coming from his own pocket.

    Gasim has learned well from his masters in Endherimaage who he served as their servant and later provided the structure for their money laundering.

    Who believes that Gasim started his business with his own money?

  9. i shall sue Nahseed for invading our private life and robbing this country and constraining our businesses and giving illegal orders and damaging our social fabrics for a billion dollars.

  10. Gasim will win in the first round if MDP thinks that they can win in the first round too.

  11. The Only Illuminati in the race is Anni. Only Illuminati can change his people. Qasim, and the rest are feeble. In my view Maldives need Illuminati to run the country

  12. Yes, the illuminati will harness magic energy through tall buildings in Male' to open a portal to an alternate dimension. Dajjal will then emerge through this dimension, and take on the form of Anni to win the presidential election.

    This is not a conspiracy theory. It's a fact.

  13. Nah, Waheed is not far behind Anni.. he is already an equal contender at least on paper..


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