Gayoom holds talks with Mahinda

Former Maldivian President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom has had talks with President Mahinda Rajapaksa in Colombo.

The President’s office said that the talks took place last evening and External Affairs Minister G.L Peiris as well as President’s Secretary Lalith Weeratunga were among those who attended the talks.

The President’s office said that Gayoom made a courtesy call on President Rajapaksa and further details including what both sides discussed were not released.

Just this week the opposition Maldives Democratic Party (MDP) said there were concerns the current Maldives administration is attempting to bring Gayoom back to power.

MDP international affairs spokesman Hamid Abdul Ghafoor told the Colombo Gazette that it seems Maldives President Mohammad Waheed is being used by Gayoom.

“In some Arab countries the people took to the streets and protested to remove who they felt were dictators. In our country Gayoom, who was seen as a dictator, was removed through a democratic election in 2008. But there is clearly an attempt now by Waheed to help Gayoom come back as President,” Ghafoor said.

Ghafoor claimed that even at a state banquet for visiting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the Maldives this week Gayoom was at the table as a special guest.

“Gayoom’s daughter is also in the Maldives government so we have no doubt there is an attempt to reinstate Gayoom through the next Presidential election,” Ghafoor said.

Meanwhile the MDP is also against Presidential elections being held in July 2013 and not this year.

Ghafoor said that the government was misleading the international community by claiming it was going for an early election in July 2013.

Maldives President Mohammad Waheed had announced on Wednesday that Presidential elections will be held in the Maldives in July 2013, the earliest date permitted under the Constitution.

The Presidential elections were earlier slated for November 2013 but Waheed had said in a statement that the successful holding of parliamentary by-elections on 14th April showed that elections can be held earlier. (Colombo Gazette)