Two more MPs-elect switch to Progressive Party of Maldives

Opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP-elect for Thaa Thimarafushi, Mohamed Musthafa, along with independent MP-elect for Haa Alif Dhidhoo, Abdul Latheef Mohamed, have joined the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM).

The new signings brings the number of PPM MPs in the 18th People’s Majlis to 37, and the number of Progressive Coalition MPs to 57 with five from the Maldives Development Alliance (MDA) and 15 from the Jumhooree Party (JP).

Abdul Latheef Mohamed defeated incumbent JP MP Ahmed Sameer in the March 22 polls with 40 percent of the vote while Musthafa won against incumbent PPM MP Ahmed Shareef Adam with a margin of nine votes.

Musthafa and Abdul Latheef signed their membership forms in the presence of PPM leader, former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, at a ceremony this afternoon in Nasandhuraa Palace Hotel.

Gayoom later tweeted: “PPM now has 37 seats in Majlis n our Coalition 57- a two-thirds majority. What an impressive achievement!”

President Abdulla Yameen, Vice President Dr Mohamed Jameel Ahmed, Tourism Minister Ahmed Adeeb, and Defence Minister Colonel (Retired) Mohamed Nazim were also in attendance.

Musthafa told the press at the ceremony that he believed the government could develop the nation in the current climate of peace and stability.

Musthafa tweeted yesterday that he could not remain in parliament “making idle chatter” to the detriment of his constituents.

His first priority as an MP was the nation, followed by the constituency, and then political party, Musthafa tweeted.

“I’m MP elected to represent Thimarafushi [and] Veymando constituents. I will fight for them disregarding the politics they stand for,” he tweeted on March 24.

Speaker’s post

Meanwhile, of the five independent MPs-elect, three have now signed for the ruling PPM – including Naifaru MP-elect Ahmed Shiyam and Mahibadhoo MP-elect Mohamed Thoriq ‘Tom’.

Today’s signings follow friction in the coalition over the post of speaker of parliament. In the wake of JP leader Gasim Ibrahim’s announcement that he would seek the post, the PPM declared that it would nominate one of its MPs for speaker.

Following the polls, Gasim accused coalition party members of costing his party almost a third of the seats it had contested.

Other disgruntled JP candidates accused the PPM of attempting to “destroy” its coalition partner, suggesting that PPM members masquerading as independents actively campaigned against Gasim’s party.

With the addition of two more MPs-elect, the PPM and coalition partner MDA are presently just one vote short of the 43 simple majority without the JP.

Aside from the two remaining independents and the Adhaalath Party MP-elect for Haa Dhaal Makunudhoo, Anara Naeem, the opposition MDP has 25 MPs-elect.

Speaking to Minivan News today, MDP Spokesperson Hamid Abdul Ghafoor said that the coalition was “obviously split on the question of the speaker.”

“They are not making a secret out of it,” he observed.

Hamid said Musthafa’s defection was “widely anticipated by a lot of MDP members”.

“We are currently in a settling down period. Obviously there will be candidates whose independence is compromised. What happens in this country is that their [candidates] capability to stand independently is compromised and they bow to coercion and pressure” he said.

“Another one bites the bite,” he added.

Hamid also suggested that the MDP’s primaries to select parliamentary candidates were “obviously flawed.”

“This doesn’t lend much credibility to the process. There was a lot of ‘branch stacking’ – a process where parties get candidates to sign for another party to influence their primary votes,” he explained.

Musthafa won the MDP primary for the Thimarafushi constituency against lawyer Abdulla Shairu, a member of former President Mohamed Nasheed’s legal team.

MP Musthafa

Musthafa was elected to the 17th People’s Majlis on an MDP ticket after beating Gassan Maumoon, son of former President Gayoom.

The High Court however annulled the results of two ballot boxes and ordered a revote after Gassan alleged widespread intimidation and irregularities in the poll.

The presiding judge in the three-judge High Court panel was Judge Ali Hameed, who was subsequently appointed to the Supreme Court bench.

Upon winning the revote, Musthafa described Gayoom as “the most brutal leader in the past 100 years.” He went on to severely criticise the former president in parliamentary debates.

In July 2010, Musthafa was arrested together with Deputy Speaker Ahmed Nazim for allegedly bribing MPs and a Civil Court judge.

Criminal Court Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed however ordered police to release the pair, ruling that there were no reasonable grounds to grant an extension of pre-trial detention.

The pair were accused of offering US$6,000 as well as a return ticket for an overseas trip to a civil court judge to allegedly influence an ongoing case.

In March 2011, a phone conversation between Musthafa and Nazim surfaced in social media, implicating the MDP MP in secret deals with then-Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party Leader Ahmed Thasmeen Ali.

Musthafa is heard claiming in the leaked recording that Thasmeen offered financial assistance to his campaign in 2009.

On February 20, 2012 – less than two weeks after the controversial transfer of presidential power – the Supreme Court stripped MP Musthafa of his seat over a decreed debt.

Musthafa lost the subsequent by-election in the Thimarafushi constituency to PPM candidate Shareef.


11 thoughts on “Two more MPs-elect switch to Progressive Party of Maldives”

  1. Now this is a lesson for Nasheed. Nasheed used all his power influence and public resources available with him in 2009 Parliamentary election and even tried intimidate people to vote for MDP.

    But came out as second and then DRP was opposition at that time become the majority party.

    But this time PPM is ruling party and they have got the most votes in this election and coalition got two third majority in the parliament .

    With this election, one thing was clear. Yameen with such difficulty had managed to keep the coalition together to some extend where as Nasheed could not even managed to keep coalition at that time .

    This show the leadership quality of the two people and Yameen had proven himself to be 1000 times better leader than Nasheed.

    We judge the people based on performance not by his words.

  2. Once PPM/MDA combined get critical majority, there is actually no demand to buy off MPs. MP market prices will go down and it will no longer be a sellers market but a buyers one. Musthafa is wise to trade himself this early on probably fetching a better deal than the line of MPs to follow. Musthafa is also a prize product of MDPs loyal line up, and the symbolic value attached to his departure from party further weakens MDPs relevance in today's political sphere. Congratulations Musthafa and all the MPs who are crossing over. May you all have a bright political career ahead of you!

  3. Yameen is to be commended for his efforts to keep coalition going.

    He, too, will find the Arab wannabes to be the most difficult to manage. The beardees will find everything they can think of to be embroiled in an everlasting conflict. That's the only thing that makes them feel anything other than irrelevant.

    Anni made the mistake of undermining these camels. If yameen makes the same mistake, these dumb Mordisian-giant-hornets will not hesitate to kill.

    Success lies in ability to appease the camels and also lead the nation to this century.

    Good luck!

  4. But they all say Yamin is the king pin of drug.Even the home minister himself said so many times.At least nasheeds home minister never said publicly that he is drug baron or he dealt the death blow to poor Afrashim.Thats how we judge leaders

  5. I can imagine it would be hard for MDP to say anything regarding Musthafa now. I can't imagine how hard it must be for those MDP supporters whose votes have been abused. MDP has an uphill task ahead ..

  6. Mohamed Musthafa exposed as a man without integrity and dignity.

  7. MDP is an embarrassment. Why on earth would they even back these people if they have no integrity? They used to represent hope, now they just represent how easy it is to swindle both parties and the public.

  8. "Thimarafushee Mustafa" has always been a notorious name in the business sector for what; the business community and who ever have done business with him knows best!
    PPM and its leadership should be well aware of this.
    And as long as he is there with them, they will have on their minds the question, when will he default?
    Can MDP learn from this?

  9. This kind of crossing the floor is a big sign that Maldivians do not have principles and do not know or care about democracy. Reading about this kind of floor crossing, foreigners would not think much of Maldivians. Maldivians do not care about foreigners' opinions.


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