Laamu Atoll councilors dismiss JP’s claims they had joined the party

Two councilors from Laamu Atoll have expressed concern over business tycoon MP Gasim Ibrahim’s Jumhoree Party (JP) falsely announcing they had joined the party.

During a rally held last Friday on Gan in in Laamu Atoll, the JP announced that Laamu Atoll Councilor Mumthaz Fahmy, Laamu Atoll Kunahandhoo Island Councilor Lirgam Saeed and several others had joined the party during a membership drive.

However, both councilors denied the claims saying they never had any interest in joining the party.

Speaking to local media, Mumthaz Fahmy – who is also a member of Local Government Authority (LGA) – said although he welcomed Gasim’s contribution to the country, he had not decided to join the JP or support Gasim’s presidential campaign.

“When they announced that I was to join the party, I left the rally. I condemn the act of announcing my name,” he told local media outlet Sun Online.

When Fahmy did now show up on stage, JP Vice President Ameen Ibrahim told the media that due to travel difficulties, some of the “new members were unable to join the rally”.

“I took part in the rally following an invitation by Gasim Ibrahim. I never joined or planned to join the party,” Fahmy said.

Laamu Atoll Kunahandhoo Island Councilor Lirgam Saeed made similar comments.

“Even though I was in Gan, I did not even attend the rally. I have not decided to join the party. I was very disappointed when they announced my name without my consent,” Saeed said.

Ahmed Hussain, a key activist of Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) in the region, also claimed that despite his name being announced, he had never intended to join the JP.

“I have always been behind President Gayoom. Since the formation of Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) and later PPM, I have been like that. I condemn JP’s act of announcing my name,” he said.

Hussain also said that JP announced the names of several other people who had not joined the JP.

Hussain further said that he plans to sue JP for their “fraudulent announcement” of names from PPM members when they had no knowledge of such an announcement.

“They have to accept that they have committed a wrong and they should apologise. Due to this, people have questioned my sincerity, therefore I plan to consult with senior people of PPM and take the matter to court,” he added.

Meanwhile local newspaper Haveeru reported that former national football team member Shamweel Gasim’s name was included in the JP’s membership list without his knowledge.

“When I checked with elections commission I came to know I was listed as a member of JP. But I have never joined the party. I have never even thought of doing so,” Shamweel was quoted in Haveeru.

“I am really surprised. My name should not be in a party list unless I signed up to join,” he added.

However, Vice President of JP Ameen denied the allegations claiming that the party had announced names of people who had promised to join the party.

“We announced a list of people who gave their word to us. That included those who had already joined the party and those who were planning to join,” he told Haveeru.

“When the rally concluded, some people came and complained to us for not mentioning their names during the rally. A large number of people have joined the party and others agreed to join the party,” he said.

Responding to the allegations, JP Spokesperson Moosa Rameez said that they had not deceived anyone and the announcement of councilors’ names who had not joined the party was an “error made by the party secretariat” while compiling the list.

Rameez said the list was compiled from names of councilors and other people who had given word that they would join Jumhoree party.

“During our trip to Laamu Atoll, a minimum of 25 councilors joined our party. I think the problem came up with two names. It is an error made by the person who had compiled the list,” he explained.

According to Rameez, the party has already sent apologies to the councilors who had expressed their disappointment and he said the party was willing to apologise in the future as well.

“I don’t think we can bring anyone to our party by force. It was a genuine mistake. Anybody can make one. Even in universities, sometimes there are mistakes made in printing certificates. Such mistakes happen with GCE O’level certificates too,” he added.