President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s faction of the divided ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) has decided to hold a celebration of its fifth anniversary in the northern island of Dhuvaafaru in Raa atoll.
PPM’s secretary general from President Yameen’s faction, Dr Abdulla Khaleel announced that the president and top executives of his faction will participate in the celebratory rally that will be held coming Saturday.
The faction also held a major rally asserting themselves as the “true” PPM last Friday in capital Male to celebrate their fifth anniversary. President Yameen’s faction reported that with 4,000 participants who were flown in from the atoll islands, total 12,000 individuals had taken part in their rally.
Explaining that Dhuvaafaru was chosen for the celebration as it boasts one of the largest populations in the Maldives’ north as well as a majority of PPM supporters, SG Khaleel added that PPM will hold another fifth anniversary celebration in the south of the archipelago as well.
“Residents of other islands in [Raa] atoll will also participate in the rally at Dhuvaafaru. Signing for PPM membership will also be held in the rally,” said Khaleel who is the lawmaker for Nilandhoo constituency.
Meanwhile, former president and PPM leader Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s faction of the party had also celebrated the party’s fifth anniversary on October 27. Following their denial of entry into Dharubaaruge convention centre and, later, PPM’s office to hold the celebration, Gayoom and his loyalists finally held a small ceremony at SHE Building, where the former president officially announced the withdrawal of his support for President Yameen’s government.
PPM was divided into two factions in the midst of the public fallout between the two Gayooms. A lawsuit accusing the elder Gayoom of impeding PPM’s effective functioning was filed by lawmakers loyal to President Yameen, following which the lower court ruled that Gayoom hand over party control to its adviser President Yameen. The appeal court upheld the Civil Court’s verdict and President Yameen’s faction had promptly removed all assets, equipment and documents of the party from PPM’s office, which is Gayoom’s headquarters, and relocated them to Dharubaaruge, which is the current activity hub of President Yameen’s faction.