Run-off parties seek JP leader Gasim’s endorsement

Speaker of Parliament Abdulla Shahid, Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom – Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) – have met Jumhooree Party (JP) Leader Gasim Ibrahim, seeking the third-placed candidate’s endorsement ahead of Saturday’s presidential run-off.

Speaking to press after meeting the MDP leaders at his residence in Male’ last night, Gasim said the party’s presidential candidate had also called asking for his support in the poll against PPM candidate Abdulla Yameen.

“I said [to Nasheed] we have made our statement on behalf of our party. There have been no further developments to say anything at the moment against our statement, [which was] to not support any presidential candidate, under the present circumstances. Nonetheless, we are close friends, we are not enemies,” Gasim said.

Nasheed emerged the frontrunner in the November 9 revote with 46.93 percent while Yameen polled 29.73 percent. The JP candidate finished third with 23.34 percent of the vote.

As no candidate reached the required 50 percent plus one vote, a run-off election has been scheduled for November 16.

While Gasim announced on Sunday night (November 10) that the JP council had decided not to back either candidate, he told reporters last night that “everything is subject to change”.

“Not that I’m saying it will change. What they mentioned is a request of theirs. Each of us should believe that taking the right steps always after thinking about the nation is the best way. So what I have to say is that I can’t make a definite statement, even personally on my own, at the moment,” said Gasim.

“But there are possibilities of saying later what I wish or think, isn’t there? So there is no enmity. There is close friendship. With everyone. There is no personal problem,” he said.

Meeting with Gayoom

In a message aired on his Villa Television on Sunday, Gasim had said the JP had decided not to back either candidate “because, based on past experiences, people who worked to bring [a candidate] to power gets blamed and feels shame due to certain things that the president does while in power.”

The JP national council reportedly voted against a proposal to support the PPM candidate.

PPM candidate Yameen had visited Gasim shortly before the provisional results were announced and claimed at a press conference that Gasim “has expressed his support for us.” The party told local media yesterday that it was still hoping to persuade Gasim to back its candidate in the run-off.

Gasim received former President Gayoom at his residence this afternoon and told the press that he would ask the JP council to reconsider its decision not to support either candidate.

Gayoom told reporters that respect for Gasim among the public would increase if he decided to endorse Yameen.


Referring to Nasheed’s appearance on the state broadcaster Television Maldives (TVM) last night, during which he defended the party’s Islamic credentials, Gasim said that the MDP candidate had dispelled “doubts and suspicions concerning Islam.”

“He has said that Islamic norms and principles will be followed in his government. That was something that people had been talking about repeatedly. He has cleared up something that we had also misconceived,” he said.

Speaker Shahid – who joined the MDP in April – thanked Gasim for his remarks.

“False allegations” regarding religion had been made against the MDP to create doubts among the public, Shahid said.

MDP Parliamentary Group Leader Ibrahim Mohamed Solih noted that the party “began our efforts for reform with Gasim.”

“What we learned after today’s discussion is that we can work with Gasim again like we did before. Both sides have that assurance. There is no difference between our thinking and ideology to develop the country and Gasim’s,” he said.

Gasim concurred with the Hinnavaru MP and noted that he had “praised President Nasheed’s economic policy,” which was “nearly identical” to the JP’s policy.

“I would like to believe that I am more of a reformist than a politician,” he added.

Past history

Gasim was a founder member of the MDP and served as the Speaker of the Special Majlis convened in June 2004 to revise the constitution.

Following his brief imprisonment on August 13, 2004 in the wake of a crackdown on an unprecedented pro-democracy gathering, Gasim was appointed finance minister during the final years of President Gayoom’s 30-year reign.

Gasim resigned from Gayoom’s cabinet in July 2008 saying he did not want to take the blame for failed budgets and ran for president on the JP ticket.

After coming fourth in the first multi-party democratic election in October 2008, Gasim backed MDP candidate Nasheed against the incumbent.

However, the MDP-led coalition quickly disintegrated and Gasim resigned as Nasheed’s home minister 21 days into the new administration.

Speaking in a TVM programme on October 14 about pro-government parties fielding one candidate against Nasheed, Gasim said a survey of his supporters showed that 60 percent would not vote for Yameen even if he endorsed the PPM candidate.

“Not all of the people in the Jumhooree Party are anti-MDP people. There are people who support President Nasheed or MDP among us,” Gasim had said.
Yellow flags were put up outside the JP’s main headquarters in Male’ last night, with Gasim’s slogans painted over.

16 thoughts on “Run-off parties seek JP leader Gasim’s endorsement”

  1. Like a rouge regime with a nuclear bomb, Qasim is a fickle minded person with much money and assets. The man is as irrational as the uneducated bunch surrounding him

    Qasim is just a no body even as a person. But his money is the very loud in Maldives politics. Thats all.

  2. Qasim is offered a deal which he cannot resist. He shall support our Royal. All that talk of been the pioneer of reform is just an eye wash. Besides he was very much involved in all the jareemas. He has now way out. Final condom in the box we will use. Otherwise we shall destroy the condom left in the box.

  3. Sorry.. why Qasim looks so much like like Kim Il Sung may explain it.

  4. Have the parties started to see the light at last?

    The race is on for JP's vote.

    Suddenly everyone is friends and anything is possible.

    Its a simple maths game. Gasim will have to add his votes onto each party and juggle what government position he can get. He will not settle for anything less than VP I suspect.

    If he goes with PPM he risks a tie again. Better chance with MDP.

    Better for the Maldives if he does team up with his now 'good friend' Nasheed, especially after Nasheed afforded him a public apology.

    All they need to do is sort out those 4 weirdos in the SC.

    What a game play.

  5. We hope that Gasim makes the wise choice and join forces to take the Maldives into the 21st century and not regress to the glory of the past 30 years.

    It's simples. The choice is between:

    (1) One man and his family interests.

    (2) The youth and future of this country who want the Maldives to go forward and progress on to the world stage. Gasim now has the power to make that happen.

    With great power comes great responsibility. May Allah bless Gasim.

  6. All hypocrites now bless Gasim. It doesn't matter at all, as corruption will remain, and we will always be the fool on the world stage

  7. @Private Tourist on Tue, 12th Nov 2013 6:09 PM

    "Better for the Maldives if he does team up with his now ‘good friend’ Nasheed, especially after Nasheed afforded him a public apology."

    As they say, the better the devil you know. Between Yameen and Nasheed, it's obvious which one of those is the better 'devil' as far as Gasim is concerned.

    Yameen together with some very shady background characters is a dark, devious devil from the depths of Mount Doom, so to speak. He's untried at the top and unknown. Yet, his past record is all there for us to see and isn't very good.

    However, Nasheed is well known for what he has done, not done and moreover, has apologised for his mistakes. That takes great courage and wisdom. A much safer bet, if Gasim can persuade him to sign on the dotted line on a few things...

  8. I want to be quite frank and admit that i was pretty disappointed by the public apology given to Gasim, he was after all at the forefront of the feb7 coup, by his own admittance as well.

    Does this mean the coup would not be investigated in a future Nasheed administration ?!! I think this would derail a fair investigation.

    Nasheed can win this without Gasim's support.

  9. One wonders if Qasim, a muti-millonare is susceptible to teenage age lovers antics of Hindi Melodrama.
    Nasheed should say sorry if aresting Qasim was a personal matter. But in that case, Nasheed would be liable for using state machinaery for petty personal issues.

    To be arresed, Qasim was accused of conspiring to overthrow the gov. If that is true, Nasheed cannot forgive it either because there is legal process. And I doubt the PG, AG or the Supreme Court can say sorry on behalf of the state. Nasheed has done a ridiculous thing by apologizing to Qasim. Not better than a Hindi Teledrama..

  10. @Sorry Darling!
    Sorry Darling (whoops) I disagree. If these clowns can see a way to stop this impasse and even lie that they forgive each and form a government and flush out Gayoom's sewerage its no crime.

    Good heavens, I may call my travel agent and rebook my villa at Soneva Fushi!

    Hope to see you all soon......

  11. Nasheed has forgiven. So there will not be any investigation of that dirty coup.

    With the public apology to Qasim, MDP members can consider the coup never happened. That's real leadership, don't u think

  12. Mr. Gasim must be loving the fact that both the candidates are courting him like a lover. This is the only way he can feed his ego now.

  13. We hope that Gasim makes a wise choice to join the united people to remove Nasheed from politics.

  14. Gayoom and Yameen again playing a dirty game with Gasim Ibrahim.If he join with PPM, in case if Yamin win in election, he will say Gasim gave Vote for my brother (30 Years Doctorate)not to me. He will destroy Gasim no soner or later.Gayoom will be in behind.



  15. Does Qasim have a choice here except to tag along Gayoom as a poodle. No he do not.

    If it's not for Gayoom, Qasim would still be a servant boy. Do you think it is education or brains that made Qasim rich?

  16. How can Anni apologise to somebody who contributed to oust him as president?
    The MDP supporters must be very angry by this mistake as they don't want Gasim and any Gayoom man close to power!!!


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