Deputy Leader of Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) Umar Naseer has said that he will not apologise to the party, after alleging that its recent primaries in which he stood as a prospective presidential candidate were rigged in favour of former President Gayoom’s half-brother, Abdulla Yameen.
Speaking to press in front of the foreign ministry after returning from Singapore, Naseer said that revealing the truth was not something a person should have to apologise for.
Umar said he did not believe that the party’s disciplinary committee would dismiss him from the party. He also said that if the committee decides to dismiss him, there would be a “massive earthquake” in the party and the PPM would be devastated.
Umar Naseer told the press that he did not file the allegations with the party’s committees because all the committees were under the influence of his opponent in the primaries, Yameen.
He also said that he was used to being suspended and dismissed from political parties – a reference to the events that saw him ejected from the Dhivehi Rayithunge Party (DRP) prior to its split into the PPM.
Umar Naseer reiterated that the persons who should apologise were the ones he claimed cheated in the party primaries.
On April 7, the PPM disciplinary committee accepted a case forwarded to the committee by the party council against Umar Naseer, after he refused to publicly apologise.
In September 2010, when Umar Naseer was the Deputy Leader of Dhivehi Rayyiithunge Party (DRP), the DRP council filed a case against Umar at the Disciplinary Committee for forging a press release and causing division in the party.
Later in December 2010, Umar Naseer was dismissed from the party – an incident that eventually led to a splintering of the DRP into a new party under Gayoom, the PPM.
The Disciplinary Committee of PPM has said that it might take two weeks to decide on Umar’s case.
An audio clip of a phone conversation leaked to social media last week depicts a professed Yameen supporter attempting to buy the votes of Naseer supporters through a person identified in the clip as Ahmed ‘Mujey’ Mujthaba.
Mujthaba – who seemed to have been involved in Yameen’s primary election campaign on Gemanafushi in Gaaf Alif Atoll – was given instructions to trade cash for votes on the island.
According to the audio recording, MVR 300,000 (US$ 19,455.25) was wired to Mujthaba, of which he was to distribute MVR 200,000 (US$ 12,970.17) among potential voters while he was to keep the remaining MVR 100,000 (US$ 6,485.08) for himself as “a small reward”.
The party made no comment on the clip.