The Zaeem-DRP (Z-DRP) faction today announced that it has officially commenced its work as a separate branch of the main opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP).
Formed amidst an ongoing dispute between serving DRP leader Ahmed Thasmeen Ali and his predecessor and former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, the Z-DRP aims to represent the former national leader and his supporters.
DRP MP Ahmed Mahouf told Minivan News today that the Z-DRP faction has now formed a council and a committee to officially organise and coordinate the work of the faction.
“Last night, our first meeting was held and it was chaired by Azima Shukoor,” Mahlouf said. “In the meeting, we decided to set up our own office.”
Mahlouf said that during the meeting, the group’s members raised concerns that DRP Leader Thasmeen had disconnected the phone lines of island-based party offices and that the Z-DRP faction was unable to have contact with them.
DRP MPs, including Thasmeen and Deputy Leader Ibrahim Shareef, were unavailable for comment about these claims when contacted by Minivan News at the time of going to press.
“The committee we formed consists of Umar Naseer, MP Ilham Ahmed, myself, [Gayoom’s daughter] Yumna Maumoon, Azima Shukoor and Dr Saud” said Mahlouf.
Mahlouf also said that Thasmeen was accusing the Z-DRP faction of promoting the People’s Alliance (PA) party leader and half-brother of the former president, Yamin Abdul Abdul Gayoom as its candidate in the next presidential elections.
‘It’s all false accusations, we have decided to elect a person as presidential candidate only after going to a primary,” he said. “It could be anyone.”
He claimed that out of the 40,000 registered members belonging to the DRP, 30,000 were in support of the Z-DRP faction.