Maumoon accused Abdul Raheem of violating the charter and the spirit of the party and working against the party leader. Photograph: (AFP)
Former president Maumoon took the decision to remove Abdul Raheem from party council after he expressed loyalty to the Maldives President
Two days after he commented that Maldives President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom can secure another term without his half-brother Maumoon Abdul Gayoom's support, deputy leader Abdul Raheem Abdulla was dismissed from the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) today.
He has been removed from the party's council by the PPM leader and former Maldivian president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom. In a letter sent to Abdul Raheem today, Maumoon said he will no longer be the deputy leader of PPM following the dismissal from the council.
According to the PPM charter, the letter says "the deputy leader has to support the party leader", however, Abdul Raheem "has not lent any support to the party".
Maumoon accused Abdul Raheem of violating the charter and the spirit of the party and working against the party leader. "He has been working against me. He has been forcing members to sign petitions without my knowledge. He has also been defaming me in the media," Maumoon said.
Maumoon added that Abdul Raheem's actions are unacceptable and he has been receiving several complaints about his deputy's actions from the party members.
He added that Abdul Raheem's actions are unacceptable and he has been receiving several complaints about his deputy's actions from the party members.
The decision comes as Abdul Raheem expressed his loyalty towards President Yameen on Thursday at a press conference. "Yameen will definitely win the 2018 election. Anyone who doesn't want to back him can stay at home. PPM parliamentary group and the council will work together and secure a second term for President Yameen. We do not have any doubt over this," Abdul Raheem had said.
The ongoing row between President Yameen and his half-brother, former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, over various issues has created a deep divide in the ruling PPM. While PPM council had requested to grant the party ticket for 2018 presidential election to President Yameen without a primary, Maumoon had refused saying that he cannot go against the democratic values of the party.
Meanwhile, Yameen's former interior minister Umar Naseer, who announced that he will run for the president's post in 2018, has been appointed to the PPM council by PPM leader Maumoon. Umar has made his commitments to Maumoon's reform agenda and he has been rallying support for the PPM Presidential Primary to compete against Yameen while Yameen's supporters are looking for a way to eliminate the primary to grant party ticket to Yameen without a primary.
Maumoon has also dismissed two other members from the party council today along with Abdul Raheem. Both the dismissed members, PPM Council member Zahid Rameez and PPM Youth Council president Ibrahim Yoosuf also happen to be from the faction loyal to President Yameen.
PPM MPs file case for Gayoom's dismissal from party post
Meanwhile, two council members of the PPM on Saturday filed a case in the country's civil court asking for Maumoon's dismissal from his party post.
Mohamed Shiyam, MP Naifaru constituency and Mohamed Shahid, MP Hulhudhoo constituency requested the court to order the PPM council to remove Maumoon as party leader and hand over the role to someone capable of protecting the rights of the people and following rules and regulations.
Both MPs accused the former Maldives president of "hijacking" PPM by suspending party operation and of violating the country's Political Parties Act.
The civil Court has summoned the PPM to attend tomorrow's hearing at 3:30 pm.
This court case filing comes after the deputy leader of PPM Abdul Raheem Abdulla was removed today from the party's council by the PPM leader and former Maldivian president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom. In a letter sent to Abdul Raheem today, Maumoon said he will no longer be the deputy leader of PPM following the dismissal from the council.
Just two days back, leader of the PPM PG group, Ahmed Nihaan Hussain Manik, denied any intention of trying to remove Maumoon from his post.
Maumoon earlier cancelled a trip to Egypt over plans to unseat him.