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Gayoom appeals for fraternity among political parties

The ex-president urged parties to find common ground.



Former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom on Saturday night called on political parties to set aside differences and work together in the spirit of friendship and unity.

Speaking at the first meeting of the Maldives Reform Movement since the new party was registered last week, Gayoom said freedom of speech was a pillar of democracy but warned that “constantly exchanging heated fire” between political parties could have dire consequences.

Despite ideological differences, political parties could find “common ground” in the interest of peace and stability, Gayoom said, appealing for compassion and tolerance. He thanked President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih for attending the closing ceremony of MRM’s inaugural congress.

Gayoom, who was elected MRM’s interim president earlier this month, said the party will reserve 25 percent of posts for youth under 30 years of age and seek to promote gender equality.

The MRM is part of the four-party ruling coalition led by President Solih’s Maldivian Democratic Party.

The former strongman decided to form MRM after losing a bid to regain leadership of the Progressive Party of Maldives. He was expelled from the PPM after a power struggle with former president Abdulla Yameen and jailed on charges of attempting to remove his half-brother from power.