The incipient Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) approved the party’s constitution, manifesto, interim council, leadership posts, logo and colour at its inaugural convention last night.
Party figurehead former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom was elected acting leader while his half-brother MP Abdulla Yameen was elected parliamentary group leader.
Gayoom was the only candidate who stood for the post of party leader.
The convention took place at Dharubaaruge with 971 delegates and was assisted by officials of the Elections Commission (EC). A minimum of 300 participants were required for the inaugural meeting.
Large number of supporters queued outside Dharubaaruge before 8:00pm while registration difficulties caused a delay of almost two hours. As voting went on late into the night, the convention concluded shortly before 6:00am this morning.
Prior to the inaugural convention, the EC had verified and approved the membership forms of 3,019 party members.
The convention was chaired by former Speaker of Parliament ‘Seena’ Ahmed Zahir, who also served as Justice Minister in the previous government.
The senior members elected to the interim council were Umar Naseer (fromer Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party deputy leader), Mohamed Hussein Shareef ‘Mundhu’, Aishath Azima Shukoor (former Attorney General), Mohamed Waheed Ibrahim, Faris Maumoon, Aneesa Ahmed (former MP and minister), Ahmed ‘Maaz’ Saleem, Ibrahim Nazim, Rashida Yousuf (former minister), Dr Aishath Shiham (former minister), Ahmed Siddeeq, Dr Abdul Samad Abdulla, Mohamed Nimal, Asma Rasheed, Ibrahim Muaz Ali and Ahmed Naseem.
A provision in the party constitution required that at least four women be elected to the council.
Eleven MPs were meanwhile elected to the council through the parliamentary group. They were Abdulla Yameen (Mulaku), Ahmed Mahlouf (Galolhu South), Ahmed Nihan (Vili-Male’), Abdul Raheem Abdulla (Laamu Fonadhoo), Hamdhoon Hameed (Raa Inguraidhoo), Ilham Ahmed (Gemanafushi), Ahmed “Redwave” Saleem (Eydhafushi), Dr Afrashim Ali (Ungoofaru), Mohamed Mujthaz (Hanimaadhoo), Ali Arif (Vaikaradhoo) and Abdul Muhsin Hameed (Nilandhoo).
In his closing remarks at the end of the convention, former President Gayoom insisted that PPM “does not belong to a particular person.”
“PPM is not going to try to create opportunities in the political arena for a particular person or group,” he said. “PPM is being formed for the whole nation. It is being formed for the holy religion of Islam. This party will always serve Islam and the Dhivehi nation.”