“We have not forgotten your 30 years”: MDP to Gayoom

Leaders of the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) launched vitriolic attacks against former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom at a rally Tuesday night, following his departure from the Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) to lead the newly-formed Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM).

In a series of fiery speeches, MDP MPs and party leaders dubbed PPM “the property inheritance party” created to “set up a family dynasty” and condemned the former President’s return to active politics.

“We thought the person who ruled this country for 30 years was finished, but we’re now seeing the formation of the Private Property of Maumoon,” said MP Ali Waheed, former deputy leader of the DRP who defected to the ruling party in May. “We stayed quiet but it was Maumoon who picked off one teeth after another from DRP and now he’s saying DRP is toothless and forming PPM with people who need false teeth.”

The MP for Thohdoo added that he “came to the MDP to put a stop to this”.

“I want to call on [DRP Leader] Ahmed Thasmeen Ali and [Speaker of Parliament] Abdulla Shahid today, if you’re toothless, come to a party that has teeth and bite Maumoon,” he said.

Ali Waheed claimed that in the wake of MP Alhan Fahmy’s dismissal from DRP in late 2009, Gayoom sent a text message to DRP MP Ahmed Nihan’s phone from Singapore asking Waheed to call Fahmy “a rat.”

On Gayoom’s stated reasons for forming a new party, Ali Waheed said that the Maldivian constitution protected Islam and national sovereignty, neither of which required the the former President’s protection.

Ali Waheed accused Gayoom of undercutting young leaders of the DRP, predicting that “at the last minute” the former President would ask Umar Naseer and Abdulla Yameen – potential contenders for the PPM presidential ticket – to step aside to make way for his presidential bid.

Meanwhile after verifying the required 50 application forms, the Elections Commission (EC) approved the PPM’s request to register the new party today with Gayoom’s son Farish Maumoon as the party’s temporary liaison. Gayoom’s four children, along with half-brother MP Abdulla Yameen and nephew MP Hamdhoon Abdulla Hameed, were also members of the Z-DRP council formed after the ‘Zaeem’ faction’s split from the DRP.

“We have not forgotten”

In her remarks, outgoing MDP Chairwoman Mariya Ahmed Didi criticised Gayoom for refusing to rule out an attempt to return to power after inviting “educated youth” to join his party.

Mocking Gayoom’s request to reporters at Monday’s press conference to ask only one question at a time “because I might forget,” Mariya said that “[Gayoom] might have forgotten how [he] ruled for 30 years, the Maldivian people experienced those 30 years and remember it well.”

President Mohamed Nasheed told her that if the government arrested Gayoom or sought retribution or revenge, said Mariya, it would discourage the emergence of strong opposition parties.

Nasheed explained that “we have come out for a bigger picture and must be patient and lower our hearts,” Mariya said, expressing gratitude to MDP member for “the patience you have shown.”

“We are seeing that when the public has been very patient, some people mistakenly thought that people have forgotten the experience of 30 years,” she continued. “I want to tell President Maumoon, we do remember. We remember the brutality, we remember Evan Naseem and those who were killed with him.

“We remember what happened to our ballot boxes, how island chiefs sat on it and replaced ballot papers to get 98 percent [in previous presidential referendums] so that you could say ‘I’m the President.’ I want to tell Maumoon we have not forgotten how you destroyed our young generation with drugs so that they will not oppose you. We remember the level of corruption in this country in the past.”

“Access Denied”

AlhanMP Alhan Fahmy – who was dismissed from the DRP for voting against the party line in a no-confidence motion against Foreign Minister Dr Ahmed Shaheed – meanwhile argued that the fledgling democratic system in the Maldives would not allow Gayoom to stage a come-back.

“There is only one way an autocratic ruler can come back,” he explained. “That is, the ruler can return to an autocratic government. Today our system is a democratic system. That means when Maumoon tries to enter the system, it will flash in big letters: ‘Access Denied’.”

Alhan said the “message MDP wants to send Gayoom” was that – as recent events in the Middle East have borne out – deposed autocratic regimes could not return to power.

“I have a two year-old child and whenever anyone asks him ‘what happened to Maumoon?’ he will immediately reply ‘he fell’,” Alhan continued, adding that presidents in democratic countries are not toppled from power but leave after completing their terms in office. “When you fall, you can’t climb back again. You have to stay on the spot where you fell.”

Meanwhile in his speech, President Nasheed asserted that there was no possibility of Gayoom returning to power.

“It is not something we should be concerned about in the least,” he said. “We know the history of this country and what happens to former rulers. [But] because what we want to see from this country is a different reality, we still keep saying ‘lower your hearts in victory’ and this is what we will keep doing in the future.”

Gayoom should be offered “the respect and honour due to a former President,” said Nasheed, assuring supporters at the rally that Gayoom’s political activities would not cause them “any harm whatsover.”

“That is not something that will happen in this country anymore,” he insisted. “Before concluding I do however want to tell you what happened to Ali Rasgefaan [Sultan killed in battle with an invading Portuguese garrison in 1558]. When he reached Maafanu [ward of Male’] and looked back, there were only two people behind him. He was buried there with those two. The Prime Minister of Andhiri Andhiri [Portuguese overseer] was Thufasha, who was Ali Rasgefan’s Prime Minister. Nothing new will happen in our country. This is a very ancient island. We are living with a thousand of years of history. Do not be worried at all.”


16 thoughts on ““We have not forgotten your 30 years”: MDP to Gayoom”

  1. Dictatorship after dictatorship have destroyed or seriously damaged the personalities of Maldivians. Even after democracy was established, in various elections, Gayoom has shown he has appeal and influence in the country. So the democratic forces must be on the alert and face the threat from Gayoom which should be taken seriously. Dhivehi Raajje aa baajjaveri musthaqbaleh.

  2. Welcome back .. It's just a matter of time now . Yellow, yellow, greedy fellow !

  3. Ali Waheed, you are talking like a man from a fish market. Well suits to you. What ethics have you got anyway, you came to MDP for money and you are oblidged to talk like this for all the millions you have recieved from the MDP. Stop talking rubbish and let the maldivian citizens decide whether to still accept Maumoon in a new name (PPM) or not.

  4. Dictatorship breeds on ignorance people. If you start to worship so called leaders, this will lead to make him the dictator. Maldives cannot be free from dictatorship unless this sarong wrapped, head covered zombies like nut chewing, ignorant men and women stop eating garudhiya and supari, and come out of the shell and start using their brain.

  5. The approach, the wordings and the barking of MDP members was sheer disgrace and a clear picture of how CHEAP our politicians have become.

    Gayoom wasnt the best guy anyway, but in his 30 years, we never heard such senseless outburts from people who, dont have any respects to the politics nor religion.

    The country continues to slide down as corruption, greed, sex and alcohol continue to flourish. Are we ready for another term of such??

  6. There is no way tyrant Gay Yoom nor his crook half brother Yameen can come back to power. First of all they do not have free resources for the campaign program. So far the trend of Island community is to sell their vote or to support the government of the period. You may argue that Gay Yoom and his brother have stolen wealth, be assured they will be reluctant to spend lavishly since there is ongoing accusation that these two rascals have robbed the state coffers and there is an ongoing investigation.

  7. The president is right. Gayyoom is not a political force anymore. maldivians have now tasted democracy and freedom. Money can only buy a limited votes.

  8. @Rumbe
    You are blaming the common Maldivian person for dictatorships.. nonsense.

    Dictatorships survive either by mass bribery or by force. You find it in quite educated societies like Libya, Saudia and Tunisia. The Saudi's and most arabs get free education and are not ignorant.

  9. I thought Gayoom could use the title of this article minus the article itself for self promotion.

    The title will also suite well for a romantic movie given its soulful, relentless and eternal bond that Gayoom and MDP share. Needless to say that without Gayoom there is no MDP.

  10. Screw you Mubarak and Gadhaafi, you said I was a fool for "giving up?"

    Watch, learn and weep, suckers.

  11. Ali Waheed your Rat.

    U talking only money.

    If another guy gives u little more money u will stop your dirty mouth.

  12. The MDP is irrelevant now.

    It came into being offering all an unattainable utopian dream.

    It stood as the antithesis of all things Qayyoom although it is now seen as a cheap bumbling carbon copy.

    Apathy will keep votes low at 2013 unless either side comes up with a strategy to get out the vote. The MDP or rather Nasheed and his loyalists will secure the votes of young islanders bought with tons of cash which one can observe those youngsters spending without reserve.

    The PPM will have to depend on the dissatisfied, the educated, the business-minded and the cultural elite who feel they have been spurned by the current government. Let us see how this turns out.

  13. From Real"
    Gayoom wasnt the best guy anyway, but in his 30 years, we never heard such senseless outburts from people who, dont have any respects to the politics nor religion."

    Of course you wont! If you say something you would be jailed and tortured instantly during Gayoom's time. Is this what you want?

  14. Ok enough is enough, stop yanking his chain.Don't you think its about time someone told Maumoon A Gayoom the obvious truth!

    "Yo old timer Moumoon, RETIRE already! Go relax with your MRS! You have had great old life living in huge palaces with swimming pools(Theemuge) , you have had great time traveling the world getting lovely presents from world leaders for YEARS, decades! You have had enough time running the country dictating drunk on a huge power trip! Enough already, time to go home now , forget about this politics and your hunger for power and being idolized! Go home to your MRS , wear something loose and comfy , put your feet up and watch a movie or 200! Play with your grand kids, marvel at the little joys of life! Give some quality time to your family!"


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