The Edition


Qasim: Maldives' safest bet for "just, humane" leader, ex-VP claims

Farah Ahmed
11 February 2018, MVT 14:05
Former Vice President Dr Mohamed Jameel Ahmed (L) with Jumhoory Party's leader Qasim Ibrahim (R), after Dr Jameel joined the party in Frankfurt, Germany --
Farah Ahmed
11 February 2018, MVT 14:05

Opposition Jumhoory Party’s (JP) leader Qasim Ibrahim is Maldives’ safest bet for a just and humane leader, the former Vice President Dr Mohamed Jameel Ahmed has claimed.

Incumbent President Abdulla Yameen’s first Vice President Dr Jameel, along with two other former ministers from Yameen’s administration had announced their alignment with JP on Saturday.

While addressing the Maldives media from Frankfurt, Germany after officially joining the party, the former vice president had heavily criticised his former ally Yameen. He said that Maldives “does not need” a leader who would limit opportunities to citizens of a certain political ideology.

He claimed that the Maldives we are seeing now is just one man’s vision of the country, and that the government has become a larger entity than the Maldivian people – which has resulted in many tribulations for the people.

He added that the reason he was so involved in Yameen’s bid for presidency was because he genuinely believed in establishing an impartial and honest government; but was quick to dismiss the notion by claiming that, under the current administration, even job opportunities are handed out to government supporters, in spite of an individual’s merits and qualifications.

The First Lady Fathmath Ibrahim was not spared from Dr Jameel’s criticism either. Even though he did not name her in particular, he had called out on how job and housing opportunities are “arranged and organised in one woman’s office.”

Dr Jameel alleged that JP leader Qasim had played a major role in bringing him to power during the 2013 presidential election, when JP decided to back ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) in the second round of voting. However, he rightfully noted that by the end of Yameen’s first presidential term, Qasim had endured more adversity than any other political leader.

“Qasim very well had the opportunity to say ‘no’ to PPM. PPM is in power today because Qasim backed them in the election,” he asserted.

The former sports minister Mohamed Maleeh Jamal and former minister of the President’s Office, Abdulla Ameen, who were prominently known for supporting President Yameen in the last elections, have all joined opposition Jumhoory Party.

Popularly known as “Dr. Jameel’s Team”, the trio had visited several islands during the presidential election campaign in 2013 to garner support for Yameen. However, shortly after the new government came into power, Jameel had expressed discontent with certain state affairs that soon left him shunned.

Over the following years, Jameel was impeached after the parliament passed a motion of no confidence against him, Ameen had resigned from the President’s Office while Maleeh was dismissed by the president.

Jameel claimed that he was impeached in violation of the Constitution. He had exiled himself to the United Kingdom after leaving the Maldives to seek medical attention in Sri Lanka. According to his aides, Jameel would have been arrested had he returned home at the time.

Jameel, Maleeh and Ameen signed into Jumhoory Party in Frankfurt, Germany on February 2.