Maldives ruling party lawmakers seek truce between Gayoom brothers

Former president Gayoom (R) greets his half brother and incumbent president Yameen. PHOTO/PRESIDENT'S OFFICE

Former president Gayoom (R) greets his half brother and incumbent president Yameen. PHOTO/PRESIDENT’S OFFICE

Ruling party lawmakers are looking to get party leader Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom in the same room in a bid to resolve the ugly rift between the two brothers.

Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) parliamentary group had convened on Sunday and decided to initiate an effort to mend ties as the spat between the Gayooms has split the party in two.

Gemanafushi MP Jameel Usman told Mihaaru that the PG group hopes the sit-down would kick-start dialog between the former president and the president that could put an end to the crisis in the ruling party.

But a date for the meeting is yet to be decided which Usman said would be done after consultation with both Gayooms.

The row between the Gayoom brothers has split PPM in two ever since the elder Gayoom attempted to block government proposed amendment to the Tourism Act.

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 soon after announced a reform program in a desperate bid to wrestle back control of his party had labelled the amendment as a clear violation of the party’s charter.

In an unprecedented turn of events, a faction loyal to Yameen had walked out of the last PPM council meeting in protest.

Gayoom had called in the emergency council meeting after a long hiatus in a bid to resolve the rift with his half brother Yameen and push his reform program.

Soon after, two PPM lawmakers in a bid to wrest party control from Gayoom filed a lawsuit claiming that Gayoom had hijacked the party by suspending its internal committees and announcing a reform agenda.

Gayoom has since refused to hold a council meeting demanding an apology from the members who staged the walkout.

Yameen had personally asked for a council sit-down to decide on representatives to the upcoming all party talks after the elder Gayoom had handpicked members loyal to him including lawmaker son Faaris Maumoon.

Gayoom had nominated Dhiggaru MP Faaris and Thulusdhoo MP Mohamed Waheed Ibrahim — both from his faction to the Commonwealth led talks with the government — designed to find a resolution to the protracted political strife in the archipelago.

President Yameen, in a move widely believed to snub his brother’s nominees from the talks, laid out a condition — demanding all political parties to have the representatives for the imminent party talks passed by the councils of the respective parties.




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