Interim Vice President of the Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) Umar Naseer has said last night that no member of the party's parliamentary group plans to crossover to another political party.
Umar has made the statement at time when rumors have been circulating that members of PPM’s parliamentary group are planning to defect to Jumhoory Party (JP).
Speaking at a dinner hosted by PPM’s members from Addu atoll at Ghiyaasuddin International School Umar said that members are devoted to the party not for monetary benefits.
“Lately rumors have been circulating that some members of PPM’s parliamentary group are planning to switch parties. Many have called me to clarify about the matter. I would like to assure all members of the party that no member of our parliamentary group plan to crossover to another political party, and will never do,” Umar said.
Umar detailed that the party’s parliamentary group and council works to protect the State and its religion and thus PPM’s member won’t leave the party.
He said that efforts made by fellow political parties to increase membership is also being monitored, especially that of JP and that these new members were not leaving PPM to do so.
He said that those who had signed up for JP had been former supporters of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) and that PPM welcomes JP’s increasing support amongst the people citing it a political advantage for PPM.
He claimed that JP’s efforts to boost the number of members would lead to decline in the number of members signed up for MDP which would reduce the number of votes secured by the party in the first rounds of the Presidential election scheduled for next year, which would politically benefit PPM.
Abdu Raheem Abdulla, who is also an interim vice president of the party also backed Umar’s claims that no parliamentary group member of PPM planned to leave the party, and that the party is the new minority party in the parliament.
Abdu Raheem said that PPM is working to become the majority party in the parliament by the end of this term and that hopefully they will be successful in their endeavor.
Interim President PPM and former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom said that the party also aims to become the biggest political party in the Maldives by the end of this year.
“Registered members of the party are an estimated 22,000. But this is not an amount we’re satisfied with. There are several members who want to join the party and several others that have filled our application forms in the atolls. We have to travel to those atolls and collect the forms. And so we will plan our future trips in a coordinated manner and proceed. I believe that this would boost our party membership to 30,000” Gayoom explained.
Gayoom also said that PPM is making efforts in Addu atoll to boost party membership and a team including him will travel to Addu tomorrow on a campaign to increase party membership.