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Don’t jump ship, Maldives president urges party supporters

The Maldives president lost a recent election by more than 38,000 votes.

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President Abdulla Yameen urged supporters not to jump ship, local media reported, as he was elected the ruling party’s leader on Friday.

Yameen ran unopposed and the vote was taken by a show of hands at a closed-door, extraordinary congress of the Progressive Party of the Maldives.

The meeting followed his loss in last Sunday’s presidential election, which saw senior lawmaker and opposition candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih triumph by more than 38,000 votes.

Four vice presidents were elected at the congress. According to CNM, they are the President’s Office Legal Affairs Minister Azima Shukoor, MP Abdul Raheem Abdulla, Economic Minister Mohamed Saeed and Tourism Minister Moosa Zameer.

Media were not invited to the event.

“Stay with us with courage and will, please don’t jump from this ship. God willing our ship will move forward, even with all these things, this ship will tow the country to safety and claim victory over these huge waves,” Yameen was quoted saying by Avas.

The defeated president said the past five years had been hard and that he could not bear it if the PPM’s senior members started leaving.

“(If people start leaving the party), I am the one who would find it easiest to stop and go home. I am the one who most needs to close the file, go home and spend time with family. If I did this, this party would not exist, an opposition party would not exist.”

Yameen said the PPM would work as a responsible opposition party and take to the streets to solve problems if needed.

File photo of PPM event

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1 Comment

  1. Michael Fahmy (not nickname)

    October 2, 2018 at 12:02 AM

    Maldives is a country, that is to say it is a nation-state. It is not just a tourist resort as some people are inclined to think. Neither is it a block of sand waiting to be submerged under the Indian Ocean. There is another point to this comment piece. Maldives is not just a helpless tiny object caught in the so-called rivalry between India and China. Not only that, but Maldives is not a slave to any country in the world including Saudi Arabia.

    Maldives is a country, moreover, wedded to a dictatorial form of government in which freedom of speech has not yet been established, and in such a country corruption and nepotism are central and obvious features of society. Corruption and nepotism and religious fanaticism are Maldivian highlights and they are not going to go away anytime soon.

    By virtue of being a country, Maldives has history but like all things Maldivian, it is largely unwritten and therefore not visible to everybody’s naked eyes. Some see, but most people, Maldivian and foreign, do not.

    Yameen and Gayoom got on quite well together until Yameen became President. Then the split started. The split ended in prison for Gayoom and 5 years’ of dictatorship for Yameen and Gayoom’s PPM became Yameen’s PPM. Lots of important people were jailed, exiled or even murdered. For the first time in my living memory, two Supreme Court judges, one of them the Chief Justice, were unceremoniously removed virtually by Yameen waving his magic walking stick.

    Maldivians are, in many ways, an unpredictable people. They move with the wind and change sides as it is done virtually in no other country that I know. Rule of law and human rights do not work in this country as yet. They can even, sometimes, be portrayed as dirty words promoted by the Western foreign powers to destroy the religious homogeneity and unity of this country.

    Ibu, the newly elected president, is a relatively unknown person to both Maldivians and foreigners alike. I hope he will survive for 5 years in presidential office. I hope he will leave his mark on the Maldivian political scene as a very special type of leader in Maldivian history.

    Yameen is an experienced politician and educated man by the standards of Maldives. I, for one, would like to watch his every move with breathless interest. He might yet surprise us all by becoming a great leader of the political Opposition, the first of its kind in Maldivian history.

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