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Prominent JP members switch sides to support Pres Solih's re-election bid

02 April 2023, MVT 22:04
Minister of Toursim Dr. Abdullah Mausoom speaking at the Maldives Investment Forum in October 2021--
02 April 2023, MVT 22:04

The Minister of Tourism, Dr. Abdullah Mausoom, who is a member of the Jumhooree Party (JP), has also backed President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih for the upcoming presidential election.

Since JP's leader, Qasim Ibrahim, announced his candidature for the upcoming election, a lot of prominent members of the party have defected and declared their support for the incumbent president.

The Tourism Minister, in the early hours of Saturday, first changed his Facebook banner to a picture of him with President Solih; he did not state any reasons for doing so at the time. However, later in the day, Dr. Mausoom officially announced on Twitter that he would be endorsing President Solih for a second term in office.

Reportedly, at the end of March, Dr. Mausoom had left the official WhatsApp group of JP, too.

Dr. Mausoom was a close ally of Qasim; he even held the position of General Manager of Qasim's Sun Island Resort. Since JP revived party activities ahead of the September 9 presidential election, he has not been seen at any of their meetings either. The Tourism Minister did not attend JP's National Conference, where a lot of important decisions regarding the election were made.

Dr. Mausoom was appointed as the Minister of Tourism on August 31, 2020, during the Covid-19 pandemic, when the Maldives' tourism sector had taken a major hit.

More Government Officials Resign from JP

Maldives Water and Sewerage Company's (MWSC) Managing Director Hassan Shah also decided to support President Solih instead of JP's presidential candidate, Qasim.

MWSC Managing Director Hassan Shah at the MWSC Staff Award Night on 21st December 2021

Late on Thursday night, he sent a letter to the party requesting his removal from the registry.

Besides Shah, the Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Higher Education, Aminath Mohamed Salee, also requested that she be removed from the party, on Thursday. She had also declared her support for President Solih and cited this as a reason for the request.

There were three JP ministers in President Solih's cabinet: Minister of Tourism, Dr. Mausoom; Minister of Fisheries, Marine Resources, and Agriculture, Dr. Hussain Rasheed Hassan; and Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation, Aishath Nahula, who is also Qasim's wife.

Dr. Husain and Nahula have not made any comments regarding who they will be supporting in the upcoming election. Qasim has already warned JP members in the government to refrain from resigning and "embarassing the party." He alleged that the JP members that defected did so in their own personal interest to ensure job security.

So far, Immigration Controller Mohamed Ahmed Hussain ("Hanafi"), Maldives Transport and Contracting Company (MTCC) Managing Director Adam Azim, and Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Arts, Culture, and Heritage, Waleeda Waleed, have all endorsed President Solih for this election. They were all initially appointed to their roles in JP slots.

The JP is still part of the ruling coalition, along with the Maldives Reform Movement (MRM) and the Adhaalath Party.