Formation of Reform party would not affect PPM, claims ex-pres

Formation of a new political party by ex-president and half brother, Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom would not affect Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) or Peoples National Congress (PNC), says former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom.

Also a former president, Maumoon announced on Thursday his intent to establish a new political party by the name "Maldives Reform Movement".

Speaking at a press conference held at the PPM office on Friday, the younger Gayyoom said the formation of a new party by his elder brother does not threaten him in any way, and those who support and follow his ideologies will remain with PPM and PNC, both being parties back by the former president.

"We submitted 3000 membership forms within three hours after establishing PNC, without making any trips to the atolls. I do not believe our parties will face any challenge or change because of the formation of a new party by an individual", said Yameen.

President Yameen further noted that he is ready to sit down for a discussion with any political parties, although working with Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) would prove to be difficult due to the huge difference in ideologies followed by both parties.

When asked if an alliance with President Maumoon was possible, President Yameen said he is ready to hold discussions with Maumoon if he wishes.

"The formation of our [new] party has taken a long while, therefore, I would like to wish well for any individuals establishing a new political party. We can still sit down for discussion with any new parties that may be registered within the limited time remaining until the parliamentary polls", added Yameen.

MRM would become the third political party to be established by Maumoon. Now dissolved Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) and Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) was also established under Maumoon's leadership. PPM was formed after falling out with DRP, after which PPM unceremoniously ousted Maumoon from the party over a dispute.

Prior to the expulsion from PPM, the Civil Court in 2016 found former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom guilty of violating the constitution, party charter and the political party law and handed-over party control to half brother and the then president Yameen.

However, a lawsuit was filed challenging the legality of the PPM leadership and asking the Civil Court to handover party reins to the elder Gayoom. But before a single hearing could be held, the Supreme Court had taken over the case.

The apex court of Maldives on Wednesday ruled Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM)'s extraordinary congress held last year to be valid, which assures the leadership position for Yameen.

During a press conference on Thursday, Maumoon admitted that he made the decision to change 'Maumoon Reform Movement' through which he was conducting political activities, to a political party following the Supreme Court's decision on Wednesday regarding PPM leadership.

Maumoon had assured that his will remains strong, and that he will be persistent in his efforts, even during defeat. He is ready to form an alliance with political parties within the ruling coalition, said Maumoon.