Alhan Fahmy asked to leave at reception for Gayoom’s return

Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Alhan Fahmy is claiming he was ‘threatened’ when he tried to attend a welcome reception at the presidential jetty for former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom on his return from Egypt.

Fahmy recently joined the MDP following his suspension Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP), the party of which Gayoom is Honorary Leader.

”DRP MPs and people of the leadership came and warned me that if I stayed here I ‘might hurt myself’,” Fahmy said, ”but the jetty does not belong to DRP so I stayed there.”

Gayoom had attended a gathering marking the Prophet’s (PBUH) birthday, where he was presented with the Order of Merit, First Class in Arts and Sciences by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak for his contribution to spreading Islamic education.

Fahmy said he had wished to personally congratulate Gayoom for his achievement.

”I was forced and threatened, and asked to leave,” he said, ”so I left.”

He said the DRP’s actions “proved they do not reach the criteria of a democratic political party.”

However DRP’s Vice President Umar Naseer claimed Fahmy went to the reception with the clear intention of disrupting the event, “and not to congratulate Maumoon.”

”The event was organised by DRP and only DRP members were invited,” Naseer said, adding that DRP supporters had shouted at Fahmy and he had left of his own volition.

MDP MP Ahmed Easa said it was “very nice” of Fahmy to congratulate Maumoon.

”It showed that he respects him,” Easa said. ”Sending him away was a very weak act by DRP.”

He said even though Fahmy had moved from the DRP to MDP, there was no reason he should not retain personal friendships with the party’s senior members.

”We also used to have coffee at the same table with DRP MPs after debating issues in parliament,” Easa said.

At his welcoming reception, Gayoom said “it gives me pleasure to know that the international community recognises my work in spreading Islam and education in the Maldives,” adding that his award was “an honour to the whole country.”