JP leader Gasim not interested in becoming Prime Minister

Jumhooree Party leader and Maamigli MP Gasim Ibrahim has stated that he does not wish to become the Prime Minister of Maldives.

Gasim's comments come while Speaker of the Parliament and former President of the Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed has said Gasim is a suitable choice for Prime Minister.

Speaking at a press conference held by Jumhooree Party on Monday night, Gasim said he is not interested in being the Prime Minister of the Maldives. He went on to state his objection to changing the Maldives' government system from a presidential to a parliamentary system, and stressed he would never support a parliamentary system.

Gasim noted that he was the Speaker of the Parliament back in 2018 when the first referendum was taken on which government system the country should adopt. His stance on the matter has not changed since then, said Gasim, reiterating that a presidential system is the most suitable government system for the Maldives. While the country's citizens voted for their choice in the referendum, there is no need to debate further on the matter, he added.

Spearheaded by Nasheed, main-ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) members who are loyal to Nasheed have been running a campaign calling for a change in the country's government system. Nasheed himself has always been a vocal advocate of the cause for years, and has expressed interest in being Prime Minister on multiple occasions. Nasheed has said the purpose of the campaign is to change the country's government system from a presidential system to a parliamentary system before the 2023 elections, and for himself to be appointed as the Prime Minister.

Nasheed spoke about Gasim being a potential candidate for Prime Minister in a conversation that took place on the Whatsapp group of parliament members.

Gasim was first mentioned by Nasheed's loyalist and Bilehdhoo MP, Ahmed 'Dhonbileh' Haleem. In the conversation, Haleem said Gasim was a suitable choice for Prime Minister, and his most noble service to the nation would be to be a fair and just ruler to the people as the country's Prime Minister, and at the same time, bringing a revolutionary change to the country.

However, Maafannu Central MP, Ibrahim 'Bondaa' Rasheed, who has been playing an active role to garner votes for the parliamentary petition, declined to agree with Haleem, and said he cannot back Gasim as PM. In response, Haleem said although it may be difficult for some to consider appointing Gasim as PM, such a move would be in the best interest of the people, and therefore, any personal views on the matter must be set aside. He further acknowledged that Gasim has greatly contributed to bringing about reform and establishing a party system, and argued that Gasim therefore deserves a rightful place in the political arena, which very well equates to Prime MInistership.

Agreeing with Haleem, Nasheed said Haleem is a wise, forward thinking character, and that Gasim is indeed an appropriate choice for Prime Minister. Nasheed further praised Gasim by stating that he has closely witnessed the reform work done by Gasim.

Responding to the conversation, Gasim said he does not believe MDP would wish for him to become the Prime Minister, and that the party would not agree for him to even become a low-ranking worker such as a peon. Nasheed then responded to Gasim's statement, stating that MDP has previously done as Gasim wished.