MP Saud Hussain of the Progressive Party of Maldives has joined former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s faction of the divided ruling party, pledging support to his “reform efforts” in alliance with opposition parties.
“Maumoon is PPM and PPM is Maumoon. His service cannot be erased from the nation,” the MP for the Villigili constituency in Gaaf Alif atoll tweeted Sunday night.
Saud also posted a photo of a meeting with Gayoom’s son Faris Maumoon and the other ruling party lawmakers who have openly sided with the 79-year-old former president.
Gayoom, the PPM’s founder and elected leader, was expelled from the party last week by its ethics committee. But Gayoom’s supporters disputes the legal standing of the committee and insists that only a two-third majority of delegates at a PPM national congress can remove a sitting president.
After Gayoom’s expulsion, Saud had called for respect towards former presidents, lauding them as “the country’s biggest political asset.”
On March 24, Gayoom signed a historic pact with former President Mohamed Nasheed and other opposition leaders to work together to restore democracy and constitutional rights in the Maldives.
“Maumoon is the true president of PPM. He was elected by the public. I will support and be with Maumoon for his reform work,” Saud told the opposition-aligned Raajje TV after the meeting with Faris and other MPs.
Saud is the second PPM MP to abandon President Abdulla Yameen’s faction since the united opposition sought unsuccessfully to impeach Speaker Abdulla Maseeh Mohamed and dismantle the previously secure pro-government parliamentary majority.
The opposition alliance expected to secure a simple majority from the 85-member house with defections from the PPM, but the no-confidence motion was defeated with 48 votes from ruling coalition lawmakers in a contentious roll call vote.
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Source URL: Maldives Independent