PPM pledges disciplinary action against members contesting Majlis elections as independents

The ruling Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) has pledged to take disciplinary action against party members who are contesting the March parliamentary election as independents.

In a statement issued yesterday, the PPM said independent candidates were “illegally” using the party’s logo in their campaigns.

The party has publicised a list of coalition approved candidates on the party website.

Meanwhile, former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom asked independents who are contesting Majlis elections to withdraw their names and support coalition candidates instead last night.

“A PPM member or any other party member must not run against a coalition candidate. If you do so, it will be very sad for us. That is because it will divide votes of those who hold the same ideology. If votes are divided, we will lose the seat,” he said.


Parliament announces five MPs’ change of parties

Speaker of Parliament Abdulla Shahid announced at today’s sitting of the People’s Majlis that five MPs have officially informed the secretariat of their recent change of political parties.

The movement of MPs included Deputy Speaker Ahmed Nazim from the People’s Alliance (PA) to the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), MPs Ahmed Shareef Adam and Ahmed Moosa from PPM to President Dr Mohamed Waheed’s Gaumee Ihthihaad Party (GIP), and MP Ali Azim from the government-aligned Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) to the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP).

DRP MP Ali Saleem meanwhile left the party to become an Independent MP.

Following the changes, the majority party MDP currently has 33 seats, minority party PPM has 20 seats, the DRP has 11 seats, the Jumhooree Party (JP) has three seats, and the Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) has one seat.

There are currently nine independent MPs of the 77 elected to parliament in May 2009. The two MPs who recently joined President Waheed’s GIP along with MP Ibrahim Muttalib of the Adhaalath Party as well as two MPs of the Maldives Development Alliance (MDA) are considered independents under the parliamentary rules as no candidate has been elected to parliament on either an Adhaalath, MDA or GIP ticket.