Maldives ruling party in disarray as Gayoom’s children back uncle for 2018

Foreign Minister Dhunya Maumoon pictured during a press conference. MIHAARU FILE PHOTO

Foreign Minister Dhunya Maumoon pictured during a press conference. MIHAARU FILE PHOTO

Two of ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s children have backed the request to gift the party ticket for the 2018 presidential elections to president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, Mihaaru has found.

Sources say that 29 of the 33 members of the PPM council had signed the letter sent to former president Gayoom to give the ticket to his half brother for the presidential elections slated for 2018.

Mihaaru understands that Dhunya Maumoon who serves as the foreign minister in her uncles’ cabinet and Ghassan Maumoon who is the state minister at the President’s Office were among the signatories of the letter.

However, Gayoom in his reply had insisted that he would not violate the democratic values within the party, Mihaaru had found.

According to PPM’s charter, a presidential candidate must be elected through a party primary which must be held three to six months before the presidential elections.

But the charter also states that if a sitting president elected on a party ticket wants to seek re-election, the ticket can be given without a primary if no other candidate comes forward.

Mihaaru has found that Gayoom’s decision had sparked dispute within the party hierarchy.

President Yameen meanwhile has continued to campaign for his re-election. He has held several conventions to recruit and train party activists to lead his campaign throughout the Maldives.

First Lady Fathimath Ibrahim has also taken the initiative to plan for her husband’s re-election campaign just two years into his tenure.

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