MP Riyaz: Yameen walked free on technicality, not because he didn’t steal

Thimarafushi MP Abdulla Riyaz at a press conference by MNP on December 19, 2021. (Sun Photo/Naail Hussain)

Maldives National Party (MNP)’s vice president for south central region Abdulla Riyaz said on Sunday that former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom wasn’t free because he didn’t steal, but because of errors in the investigation and during the trial. 

In a press conference by MNP on Sunday afternoon, the Thimarafushi MP said that Yameen had walked free on a technicality. 

“There are additional cases against him, both in court and under investigation. The MMPRC corruption isn’t something that didn’t happen. It’s a big deal,” he said. 

Riyaz said that the Supreme Court’s judgements revealed the extent of the flaws in the investigation, as well as the discrepancies in the bank cheque numbers. 

“It says that he received money other than that which he received as income as a president. That he did something which the constitution explicitly prohibits of a president, make a direct business investment,” he said. 

“I interpret this as him getting free on a technicality. Not that he didn’t steal.” 

Riyaz said that there were numerous errors, both from investigative agencies and during trial. 

He said that the case against Yameen involved a lot of public funds, and that he should be held accountable. 

“And if President Yameen didn’t take it, whoever took it, President Yameen was in office, so he should be accountable to the people for this. The people should know this,” he said. 


Dhangethi MP Colonel (Retired) Mohamed Nazim at a press conference by MNP on December 19, 2021. (Sun Photo/Naail Hussain)

At Sunday’s press conference, MNP’s leader, Dhangethi MP Colonel (Retired) Mohamed Nazim announced that MNP planned on competing in the by-election for the Komandoo parliamentary seat scheduled for February. 

Both Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) are also eyeing the seat. 

Nazim told reporters on Sunday that MNP, too, has gained recognition from the people, and that he is confident the party can successfully compete against “the big parties”. 

He said that MNP will begin the campaign for the by-election soon. 

The Komandoo seat was left vacant following the death of MP Hussain Waheed on Tuesday. He died at the age of 53 years in a hospital in Male’ City after a year-long battle with cancer.