Senior statesman quits opposition

Senior statesman quits opposition
January 14 15:54 2016

Ibrahim Hussain Zaki, a senior statesman and former interim president of the Maldivian Democratic Party, has quit the main opposition party.

Zaki, who retired from politics in 2013 at the age of 66, announced his decision to leave the party he helped found in a statement yesterday.

“At a time when the population of Maldives has seen a revolutionary increase, with a great number of youth, I believe it is the duty of elder political figures to allow the youth to build and shape our country’s future. My political career stands as testimony to my firm belief in this opinion,” reads the statement.

Zaki is now living in Colombo.

In November 2012, He was arrested along with two MPs and several senior opposition figures on charges of alcohol consumption and drug abuse.

Upon his release from police custody, Zaki left the country to seek medical treatment and later announced his self-exile.

Zaki was as a special envoy of former President Mohamed Nasheed under the three-year MDP government. He also held various cabinet portfolios during the 30-year reign of former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, including the tourism ministry and the planning and development ministry.

Zaki also represented Alif Dhaal atoll in the People’s Majlis for ten years and served as secretary general of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation.

In his statement, Zaki thanked the three presidents he had served under, including President Ibrahim Nasir, and expressed hope that incumbent President Abdulla Yameen will strengthen democracy in the Maldives and ensure development and stability.

He also thanked members of the MDP for their trust and support during his time in the party’s leadership.

Zaki had cited similar reasons in 2013 for retiring from politics.

“I am forced to retire based on my realisation that this country greatly needs freshness of the young blood for political prosperity. I call on others like me to give the youth this opportunity,” he had said.