President of People’s National Congress (PNC) and Fonadhoo MP Abdul Raheem Abdulla expressed on Saturday night, his belief that the party is set to become a decision maker in the political scene of Maldives.
Speaking in the closing ceremony of PNC’s first congress, Abdul Raheem asserted that despite its recent establishment, PNC is a strong and ambitious party. He further noted that PNC will be a strong opposition party and aims to ensure the current administration is held responsible.
Moreover, Abdul Raheem stated that PNC will be the next party to come to power in the Maldives, as PNC was formed by former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, in his words, one of the most successful political leaders the country has witnessed.
According to Abdul Raheem, Yameen led the formation of many other political parties such as Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) and People’s Alliance (PA). Therefore, he stated that PNC will always be Yameen's party.
Additionally, Abdul Rahem expressed hopes that Yameen will continue to represent PNC in the future.
“Today, I guarantee that Congress Party is the party President Yameen loves the most, created with the most enthusiasm, the party he is most passionate about and will continue to represent.”
Furthermore, Abdul Raheem stated that the ideologies of PPM and PNC, the parties forming the Progressive Congress Coalition, hold similar values, along with assurances that nothing will come in between the two parties.
“We are present at the political scene, knowing what might happen in the arena. We are aware of the reality behind what people say", said Abdul Raheem.
The first President of PNC also invited other parties to join the opposition, stating that the party will welcome anyone working in the best interests of the country. However, he stated that such opportunities will be granted through the leadership according to the established democratic policies.
“The time of positions being awarded on a tray is long past”, he said.
Abdul Raheem asserted that PPM’s failure in 2018’s presidential elections and the recent parliamentary elections are not reason enough to resign from the party’s leadership. He stated that PPM failed the elections due to the influence on the elections, adding that reports of foreign organisations show this to be true.
“The presidential election was stolen. The parliamentary election was stolen. Not because of negligence by the leadership. Not because of the common people. The report by the Commonwealth is proof that the [ruling] government did influence the election.”
Stating that PNC’s leadership consisted of those who have filled various high level positions in the government, Abdul Raheem insisted that PNC had the team most capable to run the government. He further declared that the party’s aim was to be the next ruling party in the Maldives.
Party members of PNC were elected for senior posts as well as the party’s council during the congress held on Friday. Abdul Raheem secured the post of party’s president without a vote as he was the only candidate for the position.
Former Parliamentary Group Leader of PPM and Villimale MP Ahmed Nihan, former Secretary General of PPM Mohamed Hussain Shareef (Mundhu), Baarah MP Ibrahim Shujau and former Minister of Economics Mohamed Saeed were all elected as Vice Presidents.
In addition, former Minister of Defence Adam Shareef was elected as PNC’s parliamentary group leader. He is also the parliament-elect for Maduvvari constituency.