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Updated: December 11, 2012 03:58 IST

Gayoom could run for President

R. K. Radhakrishnan
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Former Maldives President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom. File photo: AP
AP Former Maldives President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom. File photo: AP

Former Maldives President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who ruled the country for over 30 years before he was unseated by Mohamed Nasheed in the 2008 elections, has said that he may consider running for President again. Elections are expected to be held in the Maldives by the end of August or early September 2013.

Saying that he preferred not to run, Dr. Gayoom, however, clarified: “Things change very frequently. So I am keeping my options open.”

“[If I run] it won’t be out of my choice, if ever, it will be out of compulsion. Because I feel I have served the country for 30 years and I feel it is up to other people [now],” he told The Hindu, in an exclusive interview at his office here.

His party, Progressive Party of Maldives, will have its congress in January, and in February a “primary” will be held. “Whoever wins the primary will be our candidate for President… [At present] we don’t have one [a candidate for presidency],” he said.

Asked if the current President Mohamed Waheed stood a chance to be nominated by PPM as its candidate for presidency, Mr.Gayoom said that this can only be decided after Dr.Waheed joins the PPM. “My choice would be the one who would win the primary in PPM. If Dr.Waheed joins the PPM and wins the primary, then he will be our choice. But there could be others,” he said.

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