The divided factions of ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) both held their council meetings at the same time late Monday, which saw party leader Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s son Mohamed Ghassan Maumoon attend the meeting of party adviser and incumbent president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s faction instead of his father’s.
President Yameen had chaired the council meeting of his faction at Dharubaaruge convention centre while his elder half-brother and former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s meeting took place at Endherimaage, the family home of Gayoom’s wife. The president’s faction had released a photograph of the meeting in progress depicting Ghassan Maumoon in attendance.
Ghassan is the only child of the elder Gayoom who had thus far refused to take sides in the bitter power struggle between his father and uncle. The Gayoom brothers appeared to have shared custody of Ghassan, who still serves as the state minister at the president’s office while attending council sit-downs from both factions.
However, his decision to attend President Yameen’s faction sit-down over his father’s which took place at the same time may indicate that his political support lies with his uncle. His siblings, on the other hand, had attended Gayoom’s faction meeting.
Ghassan is yet to make any official announcements regarding his stand amidst the ongoing political feud in his family.
Ghassan had also attended the press conference during which Gayoom had officially announced his withdrawal of support for his half-brother’s regime after he and his faction had been denied entry into PPM office to attend the party’s fifth anniversary celebration. Gayoom had been attended by his loyalists as he criticised the government for violating democratic policies, while Ghassan and his mother and former First Lady Nasreena Ibrahim had listened to Gayoom’s address from afar.
Ghassan had left the ceremony shortly after his father declared against President Yameen.
A number of members belonging to Gayoom’s faction had earlier stated that Ghassan harbours a politically ambitious rational, while his family members choose not to question his political decisions.
Meanwhile, President Yameen had earlier lauded his nephew as having a bright future in politics a short while after the ruling party was split in two.
“Ghassan has a bright political future. I will make sure he gets elected from a good constituency in the next parliamentary elections,” the president had declared which was soon followed by his faction’s campaign to elect Ghassan as the parliamentarian for the Thulusdhoo Constituency, which is still ongoing over social media.