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Pres Yameen snubbed Gayoom meet to end ruling party crisis

Mohamed Visham
20 July 2016, MVT 15:47
Former president Gayoom (R) shakes the hand of his half brother and incumbent president Yameen at a ceremony. FILE PHOTO/PRESIDENT'S OFFICE
Mohamed Visham
20 July 2016, MVT 15:47

President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom had snubbed three separate requests by his half brother Maumoon Abdul Gayoom for a sit-down to resolve the ongoing power struggle between the two brothers for the ruling party control, Mihaaru has found.

The two Gayooms have been locked in a major power struggle for the ruling party’s control ever since the elder Gayoom urged lawmakers to vote down a controversial amendment to the tourism Act.

A top PPM official on condition of anonymity told Mihaaru that Gayoom had requested for a meeting with Yameen on three occasions.

But the president had not even responded to the requests, the official added.

President Yameen had intended to attend an emergency council meeting on Tuesday before his faction prematurely walked out of the sit-down.

Gayoom had called in an emergency council meeting on Tuesday after a long hiatus in a bid to resolve the rift with his half brother and push his reform program.

Some member loyal to the elder Gayoom believe that president Yameen had ordered the walkout.

Yameen’s faction walked out of a council sit-down over a push to oust Gayoom’s son from the party.

Speaking to reporters after the walkout, Gayoom admitted that he had not been able to meet his half brother since the crisis began.

Faaris Maumoon the MP for Dhiggaru constituency had voted against a government proposed controversial amendment to the Tourism Act defying a three line whip issued by the PPM parliamentary group despite Gayoom urging his party lawmakers to vote down the amendment.

Gayoom had assumed full control of the party amid a fallout from his failed attempt to get his party lawmakers to vote down the amendment.

The party’s disciplinary committee had ignored a ban on all party sit-downs imposed by Gayoom to vote out Faaris and another council member Aminath Nadhira from the party.

Nadhira served as the executive coordinator at the gender ministry before being dismissed after speaking publicly in support of Gayoom.

The majority of the council loyal to Yameen insisted that members voted out of the party by the disciplinary committee had no place in the council.

Gayoom had announced the reform program in a bid to wrestle back control of his party after labeling the amendment to the Tourism Act as a clear violation of the party’s charter.

PPM lawmakers loyal to president Yameen had meanwhile decided to amend the law putting an age cap of 65 years for political party leaders in a bid to oust Gayoom.

The amendment would effectively put an end to Gayoom’s rein as the PPM leader.

Gayoom had also recently rejected a petition by the party council to gift the party’s presidential ticket to president Yameen for his re-election in 2018 without a primary.

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