The newly-formed Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) held its first major political rally last night with a large number of supporters at artificial beach in Male’, vowing to “enter the presidential palace” in the 2013 presidential election.
Following the completion of the registration process with the Elections Commission (EC) on Sunday and pending verification of over 10,000 membership forms, PPM becomes the third largest party in the Maldives with 13,000 members.
As of October 30, 2011, the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has 47,904 members, followed by opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) with 35,260 and religious conservative Adhaalath Party with 6,140 members.
Speaking at last night’s rally, PPM Registrar Dr Mohamed Saud said the party submitted 13,000 membership forms in 55 days, with the number expected to reach 30,000 by the end of the year.
Dr Saud claimed PPM’s membership would reach over 60,000 in the next six months before its inaugural national congress.
Vili-Maafanu MP Ahmed Nihan told supporters that the new party was “the English version of [first Maldivian President] Mohamed Ameen’s party.”
MP Abdulla Yameen, who has announced his intention to contest the party’s presidential primary, meanwhile said the executive was attempting to grab all powers of the state, accusing the current administration of being incapable of governing under a lawful and democratic system without street activism and “intimidation” of state institutions such as the judiciary.
“I would like to tell the Supreme Court, other courts and independent institutions on behalf of the beloved and honourable PPM members in attendance here, we will definitely be the watchers between you and MDP’s activism,” he said. “We will not allow any harm to come you.”
Yameen also claimed senior leaders of the MDP government were “drenched in the blood of the martyrs” of the November 3, 1988 coup attempt with mercenaries from Sri Lanka.