The longest-serving leader in Asia fights for a seventh term

November 14th, 2007 - 2:49 am ICT by admin  
According to The Independent, one of the three ministers who have resigned is preparing to contest against Gayoom in the forthcoming elections.

The cabinet resignations came after Gayoom, 76, said he would carry on in office for another five years.

Justice Minister Hassan Saeed, Attorney General Mohammed Jameel and Foreign Minister Ahmed Shaheed, all in their late thirties and early forties, said other members of the government were likely to follow them by resigning before the election.

The three ministers are said to have widespread contacts among politicians and the media in the West as well as in neighbouring Sri Lanka and India. Gayoom had brought them into the government proclaiming that this was concrete evidence that he was preparing to move forward and hand over power to a younger generation.

Saeed has promised to stand against Gayoom for the presidency and the three former ministers have established contact with other parties, including the main opposition, the Maldivian Democratic Party, with the aim of presenting an united front.

The three ministers are currently in London meeting parliamentarians and members of the small Maldivian community. They are due to meet Foreign Office officials today.

The former ministers claimed they had been subjected to intimidation and threats since they announced their resignations.

“Our offices were broken into and documents removed. Our houses have had paint thrown at them and we have received threats,” The Independent quoted Saeed, as saying. (ANI)

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