Thoe who spoke at the street event held in front of PPM-PNC office on Monday night, 7 August 2023 (R - L): Thorig, Shiyam, Adam Shareef, Shujau and Saeed.

PPM-PNC leadership divided over backing Muizz

The only people who spoke in support of Muizzu at Monday's rally was Senator Mohammed Latheef.

8 August 2023

By Mohamed Muzayyin Nazim

A rift in the leadership of the PPM-PNC coalition has emerged over supporting Male Mayor Dr Mohamed Muizz as the coalition’s presidential candidate, with a number of key figures reportedly unwilling to get behind him.

At a rally outside the PPM-PNC office on Monday evening, many of the leadership of the two parties indicated they were not yet ready to back Muizz.

In addition, when Muizz held meetings with senior officials and campaign teams of the two parties at the PPM-PNC office on Monday after submitting his candidacy, only PNC President Abdul Raheem Abdulla from among the leadership was present.

PPM presidential candidate, former President Abdulla Yameen has lost his chances of contesting the September 9 election after the Supreme Court on Sunday upheld an Elections Commission decision to reject his candidacy over his 11-year jail sentence and associated unpaid fine of USD 5 million. The PPM-PNC senate passed a resolution to contest the election despite Yameen’s order to boycott the election.

  • Yameen initially opposed the senate decision; Muizz’s candidacy was still being prepared at that time

  • Yameen changed his stance and expressed his support for Muizz at the last minute, while Muizz was at the election centre on Monday to file his candidacy

The leadership spoke about Yameen without mentioning Muizz’s name at the rally held in front of the PPM-PNC office on Monday. Some also spoke out against the senate's decision to contest the election against Yameen's initial order.

The only people who spoke in support of Muizz at Monday's rally was senator Mohamed Latheef. 

As soon as Latheef started speaking, former Hoarafushi MP and PPM street activities organising committee’s chairman Mohamed Ismail approached the podium and directed him to divert his topic.

"Talk about President Yameen. Don't talk about Muizz too much," Hussain said secretly near Latheef's ear, but his voice had been carried on audibly by Channel 13’s microphone on the podium.

The live feed of the event is no longer available on Channel13's Facebook page. However, it can still be rewinded on the Channel 13 feed from the MediaNet's app.

After Latheef, others that spoke at the event:

  • 1-

    Mahibadhoo MP Ahmed Thorig from PPM

  • 2-

    PPM Vice-President, Naifaru MP Ahmed Shiyam

  • 3-

    PNC Vice-President, Maavashu MP Mohamed Saeed

  • 4-

    PNC Vice President and PNC ticket contestant, Maduvvari MP Adam Shareef

  • 5-

    PNC Vice President, Hulhumale councillor Ibrahim Shujau

The five did not even mention Muizz's name. They spoke entirely about Yameen's electoral rights being taken away by the government and how he should get justice. They all said that they would continue to follow Yameen's instructions.

"President Yameen will set the political agenda of this country. President Yameen set the political agenda of the Maldives in the past and he will continue to do so in the future," Shiyam said in his speech.

Saeed also supported Shiyam's statement.

"The PPM is President Yameen. The PPM-PNC is his ideology... I call for his release immediately," he said.

Adam Shareef said Yameen was being “oppressed” directly by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

"I don't know if it was my luck that I lost the primary. If I was elected, I would have put Ibrahim Mohamed Solih behind bars, I would have put him in jail. His atrocity is too much”.

"Our direction is right. This party will not collapse. Our political North will always be President Yameen. We will remain firmly within President Yameen's guidance”.

Thorig and Shujau expressed their dissatisfaction with the senate's decision to contest the presidential election against Yameen's orders. They described it as a very sad incident.

"Please be assured that nothing will be done except with the direction of President Yameen. However, unfortunately we are failing some of the tests given by President Yameen, which I must say with great regret today," Shujau said, referring to the senate’s decision.

Shujau said Yameen had said he would never allow anything bad upon the people. He said Yameen had thought of Plan A, B and C with that intention. That, he said, was to "not put the people and senators on the streets”.

“However, what we regret today is that we failed a simple test thrown our way,” he said.

Shujau said Yameen is the only leader who can force Indian troops to withdraw from Maldives. He called on the public to join hands to free Yameen.

Some senior PPM-PNC leaders have confirmed to Atoll Times that some leadership members do not want to back Muizz.

"They are still not on the same page. That was seen in last night's rally," a senior official said on condition of anonymity.

After Muizz submitted his candidacy on Monday, he tried to hold a press conference with the leadership but the meeting was not held on Monday. It is learned that the press conference was not held because not all the leadership members could agree to support Muizz.