The ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) has elected the non-resident Ambassador to Russia, Mohamed Hussain Shareef, as the party's new secretary general.
Shareef was elected to the post unanimously by PPM's Council during a sit down held Wednesday evening.
Shareef replaced his predecessor, Dr. Abdulla Khaleel, after the latter was elected as a member of PPM's Council during the party's Extraordinary Congress last Friday. According to the PPM's charter, a council member cannot hold the post of secretary general as well.
With a Master's Degree in Diplomacy, Shareef had earlier served as the ambassador to Sri Lanka and then Japan, Minister of Youth and Sports, and Minister of the President’s Office during the current administration. He was also the spokesperson of the President's Office during the regime of former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.
Meanwhile the Elections Commission has declared the party's Extraordinary Congress on Friday as "invalid", due to a failure in its procedural undertaking with regards to PPM's charter.
However, PPM rebutted that the congress was held after receiving approval from the party's council and with the participation of representatives, as per the charter. PPM further noted that the party had informed EC accordingly of the progress, and that the commission had given its approval as well as sent observers to the congress.
Following incumbent President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom's defeat in the Presidential Election held September 23, PPM has declared that it will move forward as an opposition party in the new government to be sworn in on November 17.