A loyalist of President Abdulla Yameen has appealed a civil court ruling that stripped former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom of his powers as the elected leader of the Progressive Party of Maldives.
Gayoom’s faction was preparing to appeal the controversial ruling that handed over control of the party to the incumbent president when a summons was sent to the PPM office for a 9am hearing on Wednesday morning.
The appeal was filed by a man named Abbas Wafir and caused confusion as he was not a party to the dispute. The hearing was subsequently cancelled, and rescheduled for Thursday morning.
Contacted by the Maldives Independent, Wafir said he did not wish to comment at present, but described himself as “the president of President Yameen’s third branch.”
According to a credible source, Wafir works at First Lady Fathmath Ibrahim’s campaign office.
Abdul Aleem, the Gayoom faction’s secretary-general, said the appeal on behalf of the party’s leader was likely to be filed on Wednesday.
According to the PPM’s official twitter account, a team of senior lawyers led by former Prosecutor General Ahmed Muiz is preparing the appeal.
The PPM claimed in a tweet today that Wafir was an associate of MP Mohamed Shahid, one of the MPs who petitioned the court to order Gayoom to lift the suspension of the party’s governing committee, a majority of which is controlled by Yameen’s loyalists.
The court had declared Gayoom unfit for leadership and ordered Yameen to reconvene the council under his leadership. But the lawmakers did not request such an order.
The PPM split was triggered in June by Gayoom’s refusal to endorse his half-brother for the 2018 presidential election and intensified when MP Faris Maumoon was expelled for voting against a government-sponsored bill at his father’s behest.
Gayoom then suspended the party’s governing council and launched an agenda to reform the PPM.
Shortly after the civil court judgment was delivered on Sunday morning, Gayoom convened an emergency meeting of the council with his supporters and announced that he would appeal the civil court’s “unacceptable” judgment.
Hours later, Yameen also called a meeting of the PPM council, which decided to put the president in charge of the PPM until the party’s next national congress.
The Yameen faction’s council reinstated MP Abdul Raheem Abdulla as the party’s vice president and appointed MP Abdulla Khaleel as secretary-general.
The Gayoom-faction has since appointed MP Mohamed Waheed Ibrahim and a former deputy minister, Aminath Nadira as the party’s vice-presidents. MP Ibrahim Shujau who joined Gayoom this week was appointed spokesman.