“Surprisingly more people than expected” have signed up to the former President’s Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM), the party’s spokesperson and MP Ahmed Nihan told Minivan News today, adding that the required number of 3000 had been reached.
The PPM has been conducted a recruitment drive to obtain the 3000 signatures needed to officially form the party before the Elections Commission. Signatories are legally required to withdraw their membership from other political parties, such as the Dhivehi Rayithunge Party (DRP), for the new membership to be valid.
“Currently we are doing the work of arranging the forms in order, re-checking the filled forms to see whether all the forms are filled correctly and entering the data and filing the forms in our office,’’ Nihan said. ‘’It will not take long before we submit the forms to the Elections Commission (EC), but because the commission will dismiss any form filled incorrectly or forms with missing information, we are just double checking and preparing them for submission.”
Nihan said the party expected to submit the forms tomorrow or Tuesday.
“On the 8th of this month the commission authorised us to commence work to find the 3000 signatures, and the next day was supposed to be the day we officially began recruitment,” he explained, “but then the Hiriya incident occurred and we took four days to mourn and postponed all the work.’’
Nihan said the number of people signing up for the PPM was so many “because there are figures in the party who have gained the confidence of citizens.”
“We have former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and other senior figures of the former government who have served the nation for 30 years, and they have brought much development to the country and there are many people who love them,” he said, adding that all such people were joining PPM.
Nihan said that PPM’s policy was to allow youth to progress, and to “always give high priority to the voice of the citizens.”
“In this battle we will bring forward the citizens and all we will give opportunities for the young persons in our party to progress,’’ he said. ‘’We are knocking on the doors of people who think it is time to bring a change in their lives.’’
When former President Gayoom announced that he was about to register a new party in the name of Progressive Party of the Maldives, Press Secretary for the President Mohamed Zuhair said that he would doubted whether Gayoom’s party would attracted enough people form a Friday prayer group – minimum of 40.
Seven MPs in the main opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) resigned to form the new party after claiming disillusionment with the party’s leadership.