Yameen Abdul Gayoom identifies youth and economy as key focus for primary campaign

Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) Parliamentary Group Leader MP Yameen Abdul Gayoom has said that “youth” and the “economy” will be the key focus of his campaign to stand as presidential candidate for his party in general elections scheduled for next year.

Yameen, half-brother of former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, told Minivan News today that as he prepared to launch his campaign for the PPM Presidential Primary – expected to be held early next year – no decision was as yet taken on a potential running mate should he win.

“There is still time for that. All will be done in good time,” he said via SMS, without elaborating further on his presidential aspirations.

Yameen also did not comment on whether he would continue to contest in the primaries in the event former President Gayoom also opted to stand.

The presidential Primary of the PPM is scheduled to take place after its long-delayed national congress, which is presently scheduled between January 17 to January 19, 2013.

Volunteer drive

Yameen’s comments were made as PPM Interim Vice President Umar Naseer was reported in local media as yesterday (December 22) holding his own ceremony to try to recruit 300 volunteers from the party’s 17,900 strong membership to assist with his own primary campaign.

Local newspaper Haveeru quoted Umar as claiming that some 250 volunteers signed up for his campaign last night.

“Last night, I actually didn’t inform my full support base. Last night we only carried out the process of recruiting volunteers, identifying what they can do, signing and filling of cards,” he was quoted as saying.

Local media also reported Umar as opting to use a “palm logo” previously adopted by former President Gayoom – interim PPM President – for his campaigning.

“Even if the palm did not win back then, Insha Allah this time it will,” he was reported to have told Haveeru.

Umar was not responding to calls from Minivan News at the time of press.

Likely candidates

Earlier this month, Umar claimed that he and MP Yameen Abdul Gayoom were seen as the most likely candidates to contest the PPM’s primary elections scheduled for February 2013, following the party’s upcoming congress.

However, other key figures have yet to rule themselves out of the running, most notably former president Gayoom himself, who told Indian newspaper The Hindu on December 11 that he may consider contesting in a presidential election presently expected to be held in August or September next year.

“Things change very frequently. So I am keeping my options open,” Gayoom was quoted as saying. “[If I run] it won’t be out of my choice, if ever, it will be out of compulsion. Because I feel I have served the country for 30 years and I feel it is up to other people [now].”

Speaking to local media at the time, Umar Naseer said that Gayoom had the right to contest for re-election in the next presidential elections – a decision he believed would make the country’s former autocratic ruler the “obvious top candidate” to finish the race.

“I would definitely back Gayoom if he is to contest the elections. He is our ‘ace of spades’. You cannot say that the ace of spades is not the ace of spades,” he said.

Despite his current support, Umar Naseer, in an interview with Al Jazeera in November 2007 alongside (now) former President Mohamed Nasheed and then-Information Minister Mohamed ‘Kutti’ Nasheed, stated that Gayoom had “failed” in running the country and urged him to step down.

“The best thing for the Maldives at the moment is for Mr Gayoom to step down,” Naseer said. “He has failed in all areas. As far as education is concerned, he has failed. Security he has failed. Corruption, he has failed. All these areas, he has failed. He must step down,” Naseer said, speaking then as President of his own Islamic Democratic Party (IDP).

Beyond Gayoom, local media and senior politicians have previously speculated that President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan could also be a potential PPM candidate to stand in next year’s general elections.

However, Gayoom, in his most recent interview with the Hindu newspaper, suggested that such a development could only happen if the president joined his party.

Gayoom has previously welcomed the prospect of President Waheed competing in a primary for the party’s ticket.

“The president, or anyone else, can join PPM if they want, and if they win the [party’s] primary, they will become our presidential candidate,” he said at the time.


27 thoughts on “Yameen Abdul Gayoom identifies youth and economy as key focus for primary campaign”

  1. One of the most corrupt men in the country, next to Zaki..

    The options to vote for in Maldives really suck

  2. We need a man with a strong character and a great decision maker to do better and bring us out of the economic and social turmoil of Mohamed Nasheed's 3 year administration. Once Yameen becomes a bit more public friendly. He will be the way to go.

  3. @Mariya

    You are kidding right. the blatant abuse of power and public funds during Gayoom's times did not lead to economic and social turmoil in your books and you actually think Gayoom's gangster brother Yameen should be the one to lead this country out of this mess created by them. One thing Yameen could do is distribute more drugs and get us all so high that we actually think the economic and social situation is better in that sense your wish would be right.

  4. Why cant Maldives have someone like Barack Obama ? Charismatic, educated, sensible and with brains ?

    All we have in Maldives is losers like Yameen(gang financer ?), Umar Naseer (nuts), Thasmeen(bank loan unpaid), Hassan Saeed (too effeminate?) , Gasim (not educated enough ?), Gayyoom (too old?), Nasheed (only see's colour yellow and his political supporters), and Waheed (cant get any results).

    All of them have at one point or the other failed the Maldivian people.

    We need someone other than these politicians. Someone young and who will think of the peoples right, who has no association with the corrupt politics of Maldives.

  5. Yaameen eh?

    I'm ready to give you a chance. Couldn't be any worse than the psychopaths who ran the country before.

  6. It is a fact that many people know only a little about Yameen. This has lead to rumors and wild stories about Yameen. Yameen flushes his toilet with branded imported mineral water Perrier and has amassed 800 Million fortune and is the Don of many gangs in Male.

    If some of it is correct, he certainly does not need to do much to win the Presidency. He can buy and coax the poor public easily.

    Yameen is not a darling of the media. His media image is thus shaped largely by others due to avoidance of media. Compare with Dr. Shaheed, who continually tweet and fb almost 24/7/365.

    The real issue with Yameen for most elites (i.e., people who matter in maldives) is that he is an unknown - some one who could potential destabilize the establishment, which comprise of top echelons from all parties.

    Its not anything else - the unknown fact of Yameen scares those who sits on comfortable pots regardless of Governments and parties.

    In contrast, although a radical, President Naashed is an establishment friendly man. As the saying goes, the known devil rather than the unknown devil that Yameen is.

  7. It was under Yamin's managment that STO conformed from nothing to something. He was a youth when he started with STO, thus he can the understand youth.. and he is the change the nation has been waiting for.. We need an experienced Economist to move our country to the next step.. And who better than Yamin to notch it up? If Yamin gets elected from the Primaries, my vote is for him! Other option we have is Ganjaabo or Umar (seriously, the names say it alL!

  8. @Nkflowerrr on Sun, 23rd Dec 2012 11:36 PM

    "He was a youth when he started with STO, thus he can the understand youth.. and he is the change the nation has been waiting for..."

    Really? Why didn't he show some of that talent when he had a multitude of portfolios during brother Gayyoom's 30 year long dictatorship? All we know is that Yaameen became fabulously wealthy during that time.

    @Geronimooooo on Sun, 23rd Dec 2012 8:15 PM

    "We need someone other than these politicians. Someone young and who will think of the peoples right, who has no association with the corrupt politics of Maldives."

    That someone has got no chance of getting elected, unless they are fabulously wealthy. You mentioned Barack Obama, but Obama is not universally like by all Americans. In fact, he only just about won the last Presidential campaign, so there's a large number of Americans who do not support him.

    Obama, like most politicians, rely on the funds of the wealthy to propel themselves into power. The difference in the Maldives is that the wealthy and rich ARE also the politicians!

  9. The problem with Yameen is nobody trusts him except those who directly receive something from his massive banefits downpipe. If he has enough money to pay the highest rent to these 'loyalists' and keep adding more then he can win. This is a hard call to make since there are so many other super rich people in the race...

  10. We need some one who was not in this corrupted groupe. Theh csnt do nothing to Maldives but suck our blood.
    No. Gsyoo. Yameen. Nasheed. Waheed.
    No. Umsru who id thid idiot.
    No. Illiyaa. He is crook. Abfulla Hameed
    We dont need any one whin their fsmilies even.

  11. I have ony three words for Yameen. Embrace democracy and distance yourself from your brother Gayoom and his corruptions. Then only the public will accept you as person capable of leading the nation.

  12. Yameen is not an economist. He is anything but an economist. He piggy backs on failed book worms like Arif Hilmy and Jaleel, who are basically theoreticians and Text Book economists. They had ten years to make this country's economy one of the booming economies in the region, but had miserably failed. Yameen could have done what ever he wanted during Gayoom's reign, but what did he do? Got himself involved with the likes of Jangiyaa Nazim, (while at STELCO) Chaandanee Shujau and started racketeering the economy by getting himself involved in underhand business deals. Yameen changes his name every now again, one day it would be Abdulla Yameen the other day it would be Yameen Abdul Gayoom and the other day it would be Abdulla Yameen Gayoom!!He is trying to bask on reflected glory of his corrupt half brother and despot Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who had ruled Maldives with an iron fist for over three decades.
    Yameen is NOT a fit and proper person to rule this country.

  13. Yameen does not have a bone of character in him. He is a moral coward, just a nasty vindictive guy who feels sorry for himself to the point he feels justified in wounding everyone! Yes, he is not afraid to hurt people deeply when his massive ego and pride is hurt, (it does not take much to deeply wound him, believe me, that is the sign of egotistical, selfish pride.) This is not strength of character. Strength of character is the capacity to be responsible for your own actions. Yameen blames others for his failures. This means he has a very weak character, he is a moral coward. I have no doubt he will wear a benevolent mask for a while, but wait until he is "deeply hurt" by someone challenging him, you guys will see for yourself.

  14. Yameen is a very good economist and a manger. He brought so much efficient to Trade Ministry when he was appointed as the Minister.

    When you speaks of millions of dollars taken by gayyoom, i wonder from where this money could have been stolen?

    Country income was much lower than what was the income during Anni 3 years (new revenue throughout TAXEs) and the country debt was only 390 million where as during Nasheed 3 1/2 years brought it to USD 990 Millions in debts.

    There was a reasonable reserve in central bank when Nasheed came to power and this reserve was reduce by 40% during Nasheed time.

    What ever the money that Gayyoom should have taken must be much less than what Nasheed had taken during three years. If not, then it makes no sense in economic terms.

    Gayoom would not be able to take any money that is not earned ? he would have taken money from the income and the value of his robbery must be much lower than what Nahseed had robbed.

  15. Maldives is so corrupted and polluted now, we have come to expect a good leaders as good party animal - booze, drugs, women and living large.

    In contrast Yameen has maintained himself as highly disciplined, intellectual and articulate.

    So it looks like Yameen has fooled everyone and corrupted all his competitors and eliminated all premtively.

  16. There will be only one candidate from PPM and his name is Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom. All this talk is just hype!

  17. @Ahmed on Mon, 24th Dec 2012 10:23 AM

    "Yameen is not an economist. He is anything but an economist."

    Couldn't agree more. Why do people think he's an economist? Show us the qualifications!

    Gayyoom is playing a little game with this PPM "primary" charade. He's already handed the reins to Yameen just as he did to Thasmeen whilst in DRP. The only difference is the smoke and mirrors.

    C'mon, they've got Mr 99% Umar Naseer as a contender! When I heard that he was standing, I double checked the date just to make sure it wasn't April 1st. Mr 99% has about as much chance as a cat in hell of winning.

    Moreover, do you really think a character like Yameen would stand in such a pivotal campaign and lose against a nobody like Mr 99%? Hence, Yameen's probability of winning is 1.0!

  18. Yamin is the most suitable person from the options we have, and the ones we don't.. Yamin has experience in the field of management, and he has done an excellent job in making STO into what it has ripen into. What the country needs currently is a CEO and not a president, and Yameen is the most qualified CEO we have in terms of making something out of noting. Since 2008 Nasheed has debted us USD990ml, to get rid of this debt, do we really need a military dictator who calls for capital punishment or a marine something undergraduate? Ask the question to yourself. We don't need someone who is talking about Human Righst constanlty, (yes, I agree it is a vital factor: but without money and resources to back these human rights organisations and companies and corporations what are we really going to do? What the country really needs is an CEO! and Yamine is our CEO.. My vote for Yamin!

  19. @Shanaa
    Any developing country would experience the negative effects of development. We saw from the change in social landscape how basic values have degenerated. It is up to the citizens to hold on to this.

    Zaki, the guy who was caught with sand on his face compared to a hardworking guy!

    @Ahmed Bin Addu Bin Suvadheeb
    “The difference in the Maldives is that the wealthy and rich ARE also the politicians!” This is the same case for other countries too!

    @Ben Plewright
    So Yamin says some things to your face, hard for people to digest!

  20. @Mariya on Mon, 24th Dec 2012 7:55 PM

    “The difference in the Maldives is that the wealthy and rich ARE also the politicians!”

    >> "This is the same case for other countries too!"

    Not quite! Barack Obama is not a rich man. David Cameron is not a rich man. Francois Hollande is not a rich man either. Mind you, none of these are poor people, but are not the fabulously wealthy types that we are talking about.





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