The Gaumee Ithihaadh Party (GIP) led by current President Dr Waheed Hassan Manik has appointed former Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) activist and current Ambassador to Malaysia Mohamed ‘Nazaki’ Zaki as the party’s Deputy Leader.
Secretary General of GIP Mohamed Mushrif told local media that ‘Nazaki’ Zaki was appointed with the full majority of 11 council members that were at the council meeting held last night.
The party decided to appoint a Deputy Leader before its National Congress because it was difficult for Dr Waheed to run the party while performing his duties as the President at the same time.
The position was previously filled by the former government’s Education Minister and Chancellor of the Maldives National University (MNU) Dr Musthafa Luthfy, who was appointed to the then-cabinet as a GIP member. He later shifted to MDP and remains a member of the party, after its acrimonious 2010 split from the MDP coalition.
Online newspaper ‘Sun’ quoted Zaki as saying that he had been a member of GIP since May this year after resigning from the MDP in April.
He told the paper that he had joined GIP because he found it easy to work with Dr Waheed and said it was possible that he might very soon resign from the position of ambassador and focus solely on running the party.
He also said that his reason for departing the MDP was because of the influence of “several people” within the party, and claimed that then-President of MDP Dr Ibrahim Didi was unable to run the party.
The President’s party had 2508 members by the end of September 2012 according to the Elections Commission. It has no representation in parliament or local councils.