Opposition Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) late Saturday appointed Ghassan Maumoon as PPM’s Vice President to strengthen the party’s leadership.
Ghassan is the son of former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom who served as former president of PPM, and is nephew to ex-President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom.
In addition to Ghassan, two additional members were appointed as Vice President of PPM; former Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Dr Mohamed Muizzu and PPM Parliamentary Group’s new leader Naifaru MP Ahmed Shiyam.
The decision to make changes in party leadership came about due to PPM’s losses in presidential elections in September 2018 and 6 months later, the parliamentary elections.
Leading members of PPM had previously stated that they would expect Yameen to make space in the party’s leadership for Ghassan. Furthermore, he had secured a parliamentary seat for Guraidhoo constituency for PPM in the parliamentary elections held on April 6.
Ghassan was impartial during the conflict between Yameen and Maumoon that saw PPM split into two. Moreover, until Yameen’s defeat in the presidential elections, he had served as State Minister of President’s Office without paying heed to criticisms levelled against the administration at the time over the arrest of Gayoom on charges of plotting to oust the government.
Currently, former Legal Affairs Minister of President’s Office Azima Shakoor and ex-Minister of Tourism Moosa Zameer are serving at PPM’s Vice President positions. However, it is reported that the party was prompting Zameer to resign from his post.
Zameer was not involved in any party activity since the presidential elections, and while charges of money laundering is levelled against Azima, she had left the country to seek medical treatment abroad.
Certain leading members of PPM had called for the resignation of leadership members after subsequent losses in elections. Yameen had conferred to a party council group that, if it was the wish of PPM Council and members, the leadership would acquiesce.
Yameen revealed that his family was requesting him to depart from the political landscape, but did not announce his decision on the matter.
While VPs were appointed to PPM, its coalition party People’s National Congress (PNC)’s President Abdul Raheem Abdulla said that discussions about other possible measures to reform the party were underway.
Local media Mihaaru reported that one such measure is likely to be tthe appointment of former VP Dr Mohamed Jameel and ex-Minister of Home Affairs Umar Naseer to PPM leadership. Yameen had submitted their proposals about reforming PPM to party council members for discussions and had attained their approval.
However, further details have not been disclosed.