- Airport will not be leased to any foreign party
- Chinese investors shows interest to invest in Maldives
- Goal is to make Islamic Ministry an establishment which sends a progressive message- Dr. Shaheem
- Maldives cherishes Russian advocacy on respect for sovereignty and self-determination – President
- We are getting green signals to be granted financial aid- Adheeb
- Actions speaks louder than words- CP Waheed
- Majlis passes to make Quran as a compulsory subject in the school curriculum
- Maldives awarded world’s leading island destination at World Travel Awards 2013
- VP appeals for Police cooperation in providing social security to people
- President makes three new appointments
- Majlis Passes the Bill criminalizing Human Trafficking
- Maldives signs a “Handover Note” with Puntland State of Somalia to send back 40 Somalis to their Homeland
- Govt opens bid for Male’- Hulhumale’ bridge project
Gayoom for presidency in 2013
DRP’s next national congress is the most important event a lot of people are waiting for. The Congress will elect party leader, by default its presidential candidate as well and other key officials for a new term. They will be given an arduous task to fulfill, a formidable target to reach. That is winning the presidential election in 2013. This would mean election of the leader of DRP will be the most crucial issue of the Congress.
DRP was a creation of former President Gayoom who is also the first elected leader of the party. DRP is now the main opposition following the defeat of President Gayoom in the first multi-party presidential election held in October 2008 under the new Constitution. President Mohamed Nasheed, the leader and key founding member of the ruling MDP won the election and made history by becoming the first democratically elected President of Maldives.
Some people thought former President Gayoom would leave politics and his party after losing the last election. In effect, most people still do not understand how Mr. Gayoom could have claimed for the right of seeking a further term of office after he has served 6 five year terms. But the new independent Election Commission did not find difficult to understand what is stipulated in the new Constitution, that no person can serve as president for more than 2 five year terms under the new Constitution. Thus the Commission ruled Gayoom has the Constitutional right to serve another 2 terms.
Many think Gayoom would finally depart politics after the next Congress hands over power to a new leader. The law on the immunities and benefits to be provided to a former president has also finally been enacted after Gayoom waiting long for it. Thanks for the generous package it provided.
In a recent general meeting of DRP, Gayoom has hinted on rejuvenating the party and handing over helm to Deputy Thasmeen. Gayoom must be grateful to Thasmeen for donating magnanimous financial support to the party in times of need. Though Gayoom has hinted so, there are also rumors of widening rifts in the party over leadership. According to some sources, there are several powerful members who are not happy to see Thasmeen becoming leader. There are also many top members who favor Thasmeen and who want DRP to recapture its past glory under him. Some old guards and faithful however feel only Gayoom can lead DRP to power. This feeling has grown stronger since Gayoom was named personality of the year in a DhiFM survey.
People close to the former president reveal more sensational news that the former President is more than confident of winning the big post again. According to insiders, there is a group who are certain that Gayoom is the only leader capable of ousting President Nasheed in 2013. Thus DRP seems to have been buried in a deep power struggle and many among them believe only Gayoom can save the party from deep divide. At the same time some prominent members are openly campaigning for change. They feel Gayoom had enough and there is no future for DRP if he remained leader.
There is also another interesting story about a family quarrel over Gayoom successor. Reliable sources say most members of the family want Gayooms youngest son Ghassan to succeed him, while few of them strongly support his eldest daughter Dunya to continue the dynastic succession. Former President Gayoom has strongly advocated for a woman president in the Maldives.
Whether some of these stories are true or not, it has become increasingly difficult to believe that Gayoom will give up power when he feels there is growing support for him. There are rumors that some faction of DRP has endorsed Gayoom as DRP leader for life. This story is spreading fast and it seems there are powerful attempts to endorse Gayoom as Leader for Life in the upcoming DRP Congress in February this year. If this happens Gayoom will automatically be DRP presidential candidate in 2013. In a very recent TV interview, when Gayoom was asked if he would contest in 2013, he said he will not comment.
But winning the election does not appear to be as easy as the popularity survey. Though the ruling MDP has pursued some unpopular policies and programs which have seemingly reduced their popularity for the time being, the sustainability and positive outcome of these programs is likely to muster much support for President Nasheed eventually. MDP Government will use all their tactics and energies to win a second term.