Gayoom looks to leash ruling party lawmakers as power struggle continues

Former president Gayoom waves as he leaves the PPM office after a meeting last week. MIHAARU PHOTO/MOHAMED SHARUHAAN

Former president Gayoom waves as he leaves the PPM office after a meeting last week. MIHAARU PHOTO/MOHAMED SHARUHAAN

Ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) leader Maumoon Abdul Gayoom Tuesday looked to leash party lawmakers informing the parliamentary group leader to restrict its activities to within the parliament.

In a letter to PG group leader MP Ahmed Nihan Hussain Manik, the former president reminded the lawmakers that their responsibilities were confined to legislative work as per the party’s charter.

Gayoom had also asked the minutes of PG group sit-downs.

The ex-president has moved to Gayoom had moved quickly to assume full control of the party amid a fallout from his failed attempt to get his party lawmakers to vote down the amendment which sought to bypass the bidding process in island lease for tourism.

Gayoom’s failed attempt has led to a rift between his half brother and incumbent president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom.

Gayoom after announcing a reform program in a bid to wrestle back control of his party told reporters that the amendment to the Tourism Act was a clear violation of the party’s charter.

PPM lawmakers loyal to president Yameen had decided to amend the law putting an age cap of 65 years for political party leaders in a bid to oust Gayoom.

The amendment would effectively put an end to Gayoom’s rein as the PPM leader.

The PPM parliamentary group’s decision to oust Gayoom who is now 80 came shortly after a sit-down with president Yameen.

Gayoom had also recently rejected a petition by the party council to gift the party’s presidential ticket to president Yameen for his re-election in 2018 without a primary.

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