Muizzu with the leadership at the PPM-PNC news conference held on Tuesday evening, 8 August 2023. Dhauru Photo/Hussain Sunain

PPM-PNC leadership backs Muizz after bitter infighting

Muizz also promised that his top priority would be to win the upcoming elections and release Yameen according to the rules of law.

9 August 2023

Senior PPM-PNC leaders, who have not supported Male Mayor Dr Mohamed Muizz, who is contesting the presidential election on the ticket of PNC as a backup candidate for jailed PPM presidential candidate Abdulla Yameen, finally buried the hatchet and stood behind Muizz, showing their support, on Tuesday.

Former President Yameen had ordered to boycott the upcoming elections after the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the Elections Commission's decision to disqualify him due to his 11-year jail sentence and unpaid fine of USD 5 million.

Some of his close associates have criticised the decision of the PPM-PNC joint senate to defy Yameen’s instructions to boycott the upcoming elections.

However, they stood with Muizz at a press conference at the PPM office on Tuesday evening.

Among those who gave in and expressed their support for Muizz:

  • 1-

    PPM Vice-President, Naifaru MP Ahmed Shiyam

  • 2-

    PNC Vice-President, Maavashu MP Mohamed Saeed

  • 3-

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

  • 4-

    PNC Vice President, Hulhumale Councillor Ibrahim Shujau

  • 5-

    Mahibadu MP Ahmed Thorig

PNC President Abdul Raheem Abdulla said Muizz and his running mate, Faresmathoda MP Hussain Mohamed Latheef have been endorsed by Yameen and therefore "we are coming out with the two candidates to free President Yameen and win this year's presidential election”. He said he was ready to do whatever it took to do so.

“Our leadership is here now, right from tomorrow, this moment, tonight, ready to do whatever it takes, at any time, to win this election,” he said, urging supporters to continue their work with even greater enthusiasm.

"Our main goal is to free President Yameen and bring him back to our ranks," he said.

When asked by reporters why they had not supported Muizz so far, some of them went to the microphone individually and expressed their support for Muizz. They said they spoke at a rally on Yameen's release on Monday evening and that it was not the movement to support or not support a particular candidate.

No disagreement: Muizz

Abdul Raheem’s speech was followed by Muizz. He began by saying, "Even though I am here, this position is the position of our beloved president, President Yameen”.

Yameen could not take his rightful place because the government has deprived him of that right despite the hard work of the opposition, he said.

"When the situation came up, he [Yameen] then decided not to let these two parties end up on the streets and went ahead with the national work he had started and showed us the way for the country's affairs to be put on the same path. So, he has shown us a way," Muizz said, referring to his candidature.

"Trust me, I am very grateful for this opportunity”.

Muizz also promised that his top priority would be to win the upcoming elections and free Yameen according to the rules of law. There is no difference of opinion within the leadership, he said, adding that the PPM-PNC leaders have come out with one goal.

"Our ranks hold strong in this. All of our leadership is together. President Abdul Raheem and the leadership of the two parties are all together. There is no difference of opinion among us on this," Muizz said.

"This shows that we are sincerely on the same team, in the same spirit, to do this work."

The leadership spoke at a rally out the PPM-PNC office on Monday, not mentioning Muizz’s name but only about Yameen. Some also spoke out against the senate's decision to contest the election against Yameen's instructions.

In the speeches of Thorig and Shujau they expressed their dissatisfaction with the senate's decision to vote against Yameen's directive. They described it as a very sad incident.

"Except with the guidance of the president, rest assured that nothing will be done. However, unfortunately we are failing some of the tests given by the president, which we must say today with great regret," Shujau said on Monday, referring to the vote in the Senate.

Abdul Raheem assured that every decision of the PPM-PNC coalition will be taken in accordance with Yameen’s advice. He said the presidential campaign will be conducted as directed by Yameen. He said he prayed that Yameen would be released before the election and be able to participate in the campaign.