Former President and interim President of Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) Maumoon Abdul Gayoom has claimed that though various parties had called for early presidential elections following the transfer of power on February 7, such calls have now become quite faint.
Fazeena Ahmed, Haveeru Online
May 04, 2012 - 02:42 2 comments
"The various foreign dignitaries I meet don't raise the issue anymore. I've had the privilege of meeting dignitaries from various countries I visited recently. In addition, Ambassadors accredited to the Maldives also meet me when they visit the nation. None of them talk about early presidential polls anymore as its not an issue they now give much precedence to," said Gayoom during a meeting held at the Artificial Beach area last night.
He detailed that two primary reasons were behind the increasingly faint call for early polls. One reason being the results of the recent Parliamentary and Council by-elections, which equates to the same outcome if a presidential election was held, he claimed.
Gayoom said that though the call for early polls had grown faint, the focus had now shifted to the National Enquiry Commission established to probe the circumstances surrounding the regime change.
He stressed that despite the criticism of foreign parties, internal issues of the Maldives must be resolved by its people.
"That does not mean we should not consider the advise of foreign partners as they would give us right opinions and views. However, we have to take such opinions and advise into consideration and use what is right for this country," former President said.
Gayoom also said that the decision to approve Vice President Mohamed 'Deen' Waheedhudeen and the cabinet was a monumental decision in the history of the Maldives.
To that end, he claimed that the decision to grant approval proved the current unity government's legitimacy beyond reasonable doubt.
"There are no more grounds to claim that the government was brought to power through a coup, when the Vice President and the cabinet had been approved by a healthy majority of the Parliament," Gayoom added.
He further said that his party had won three out of the four recent elections which gave him immense satisfaction.
The former President went onto say that following the win of the other election by pro-government Jumhoory Party proved that the government had the full support and backing of the people.
"On the same not, it has been revealed that the opposition party no longer had the support of the people. This is something we have every right to be proud of. This shows that PPM is a party that works for the best interest of the people," Gayoom said.
Last night's meeting had also discussed the holding of PPM's National Congress on September 13-15.
Gayoom stressed that each and every member had the opportunity to contest for any position within the party.
"This party would not function according to the whim of a single individual, me included," Gayoom said.
Speaking on the ocassion of the World Press Freedom Day, the former President noted the importance of the freedom of the press and urged the local media to be sincere and honest when disseminating information to the people.
He also stressed that the media must not be influenced by politicians or businessmen alike.