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