Gasim’s resignation will not deter government: President

Friday, December 5th, 2008

President Mohamed Nasheed has said Home Minister Gasim Ibrahim’s resignation from the post of Minister of Home Affairs will not deter the government and its development. The President said so speaking at a meeting in H Dh Kulhuduffushi yesterday morning to open a workshop on the decentralization of administration of atolls. Mr. Nasheed who assumed office three weeks ago after winning a landmark presidential election on 28 October said Home Minister Gasim Ibrahim has resigned from his portfolio while the President was travelling to the atolls.

The President further said Gasim’s resignation will not hinder Government’s plan to establish a decentralized administration system in the atolls and usher the people to a time of prosperity and the other Maldives. The President spoke of the constitutional responsibility to proceed with the decentralization plan and explained the many benefits people will enjoy from it while the people themselves would be involved in the whole process planning, deciding and managing their affairs in their own atolls and islands. He also said decentralization of the atolls would also speed up the development of atolls by many folds.

Gasim Ibrahim the richest man in the country was one of the candidates in the first multi-party presidential election but after loosing in the first round of the election, he and his Jumhoory alliance joined with the President’s party MDP to become a major part of a national alliance which defeated former President Gayoom and won the election for new President Nasheed. President Nasheed has given substantial share of his government to Gasim’s Jumhoory alliance which included 4 cabinet portfolios and several other key posts. Gasim was appointed to the important Ministry of Home Affairs which has the task of administration of the atolls.

Gasim said he was quitting because he is unaware of some of the important works of his Ministry which is being done by State Ministers on the direct instructions of the President. Gasim was not included in the President’s visit to the Northern Atolls where the President has launched the Government’s new decentralization plan. Gasim has told the media he was very unhappy with the manner in which responsibilities of his Ministry are being handed by others without his knowledge and consultation. There were rumors about Gasim’s dissatisfaction about President Nasheed’s way of handling matters of his Ministry.

Gasim’s Jumhoory Party alliance had an emergency meeting last night and had resolved several measures to be taken on the issues that have lead to his resignation. However, it is not expected the other three ministers from Jumhoory alliance, Attorney General Diyana Saeed, Tourism Minister Ahmed Sawad who was Gasim’s running mate in the presidential election and Islamic Affairs Minister Abdul Majeed Bari would resign from the cabinet, while there are rumors some of them may leave Jumhoory Party and join President’s party MDP.

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