The council of ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) on Sunday decided to oust its leader, Former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, from the party which the latter has claimed as illegal and invalid.
PPM council members unanimously voted in favour of Maumoon’s expulsion during an emergency council meeting held at Dharubaaruge convention centre on Sunday, which was chaired by President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom. Mihaaru understands that Maumoon’s son, State Minister of the President’s Office Ghassan Maumoon, was present at the meeting but did not participate in the vote on President Yameen’s request as the issue at hand was at conflict with Ghassan’s interests.
The ruling party’s decision comes in the wake of Former President Maumoon signing a pact with opposition political leaders to work on reform against President Yameen and pass the motion of no confidence against parliamentary speaker Abdulla Maseeh scheduled for Monday.
Members of President Yameen’s faction of the divided PPM have declared that Former President Maumoon is no longer within rights to sign any agreements on behalf of PPM. The resolution submitted to the council seeking Maumoon’s dismissal read that Maumoon’s decision to sign with the opposition violates the interests of PPM as well as the Civil Court’s order which had stripped him of his authority as PPM leader and granted party control to PPM’s advisor, President Yameen.
The council’s decision is to be lobbied to PPM’s disciplinary committee, which holds the authority to terminate members from the party.
However, Former President Maumoon refused to recognise the council’s decision, which he declared in a tweet Sunday as having “no legal standing & cannot dismiss members from PPM.”
In a second tweet, he stated, “With the Grace of Allah I continue to be a member of PPM and its sole elected president and leader.”
Meanwhile, members of Maumoon’s faction of PPM maintain that the party’s council cannot remove him from his post without a vote from PPM members as Maumoon was elected leader by members present at the national committee assembly.
PPM’s charter states that control of the party belongs to its leader without whose permission council decisions hold no legal weight. According to the charter, the five situations in which the leader may be removed is at the end of the leader’s five-year term, conviction in court, passing a motion of no confidence, termination as per constitutional laws or should the leader be permanently incapable of fulfilling his mandate.
Following a lawsuit against Maumoon accusing him of not carrying out his mandate, the Civil Court had issued an order to transfer party control from Maumoon to President Yameen. The lawsuit was filed over Maumoon “hijacking” PPM and taking every aspect of the party under his control, according to some members of President Yameen’s faction.
However, some people close to Former President Maumoon said that he had taken over the party due to various issues, including First Lady Fathimath Ibrahim holding a convention under PPM’s name targeting the Presidential Elections 2018 in addition to other party activities carried out at her office.