Malé city councillor dismissed from PPM council over photo with ex-defence minister

The Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) has dismissed Malé city councillor Zaidhul Ameen from the ruling  party’s council, reportedly over a photo with convicted former defence minister Mohamed Nazim.

A photograph of Zaidhul Ameen with Nazim and his family in Singapore circulated on social media today. PPM’s deputy secretary general Abdul Aleem is also in the photo.

Nazim was convicted of weapons smuggling charges in March sentenced to 11 years in prison.

The photo was taken while Nazim was in Singapore for medical treatment. The retired colonel returned this week after more than a month in Singapore.

PPM spokesperson MP Ali Arif said Ameen was removed from the party’s council because of a disciplinary issue.

“As far as I know he had two cases against him in the disciplinary committee. The committee investigated the case and decided to expel him,” he said.

Ameen declined to comment on the issue, but said he will release a statement later.

Media reports suggested that he was expelled for “taking a photograph with a man who tried to assassinate the president”.

The police claimed that documents found in a pen drive in Nazim’s apartment contained plans to assassinate President Abdulla Yameen, tourism minister Ahmed Adeeb, and police chief Hussain Waheed. Nazim has maintained that the weapon and pen drive were planted by police on Adeeb’s orders.

PPM’s deputy secretary general Aleem is also reportedly under investigation by the disciplinary committee, which has yet to determine a penalty.

In March, a solder was demoted after he wrote, “We are with you, Nazim sir,” on his Facebook page.