Former member of Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) Dr Mohamed Saud has said today that PPM Interim President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who contested and lost in the last presidential election on Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) ticket, might contest in the upcoming presidential election.
Dr Saud said in an interview with Sun today that he believes that Gayoom might contest in the presidential election to avoid disagreement within the party due to the competition between Abdullah Yameen, Umar Naseer, and Ilyas Ibrahim for the PPM ticket for the presidential election.
“I believe that no primary will be held, and excuses will be made for this such as the country’s current condition,” said Dr Saud, who was appointed by Gayoom as PPM Council President.
He said that the current political arena of the Maldives is based on two ideas. That is, just like there were two groups when multi-party system was introduced, everyone who supports Gayoom are on one side. DRP Leader Ahmed Thasmeen Ali, Gaumee Party Leader Dr Hassan Saeed, Jumhooree Party Leader Gasim Ibrahim are tied to the current government. This is one group, and Gayoom is the strongest in this group.
Saud said that Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) President Mohamed Nasheed removed the educated and capable people from the party when MDP was first formed, and that this is still ongoing. So Gayoom’s only opponent is Nasheed.
Referring to rumors that President Waheed will join PPM and become the candidate to represent PPM in the presidential election, Dr Saud said that President Waheed will not be welcome in PPM. He illustrated that President Waheed joining PPM would be like him ‘falling into a trap’.
“Maybe Gayoom has said something to President Waheed that was unclear, and gave him hope. But President Waheed does not have any room in PPM. It is a real waste if President Waheed is hoping to become PPM’s presidential candidate. He would be falling into a serious trap,” Dr Saud said.