Spokesperson: Muizzu hasn’t been able to meet Yameen as much as he would like

Mohamed Firuzul Abdulla Khaleel speaks to press on October 10, 2023. (Photo/ELIYZ)

President-elect Dr. Mohamed Muizzu hasn’t been able to meet former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom – the leader of the opposition PPM-PNC coalition - as much as he would like, says transitional committee spokesperson Mohamed Firzul Abdul Khaleel.

He made the remark in response to a question by a reporter during a press conference on Tuesday.

Speaking at the press conference, Firzul noted that Muizzu himself has publicly stated that he hasn’t had a chance to properly engage in discussions with the former president.

Firzul said that it was because of Yameen’s current legal status and because Muizzu was busy with the transition.

“This is because of the challenges or difficulties due to President Yameen’s current legal status, and with the president-elect busy with transitional work, with meetings with multiple diplomats and other officials. These are the two main reasons,” he said.

Firzul said that while Muizzu hasn’t had a chance to consult with Yameen as much as he would like, the two are discussing matters.

The PPM-PNC coalition had originally produced Yameen – who was unseated by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih in the 2018 election - as their candidate.

However, Yameen’s candidacy was rejected due to his conviction for money laundering and bribery in the sale of V. Aarah.

After Yameen lost the bid to contest his disqualifications with the Supreme Court, the PPM-PNC joint senate took a secret vote, which Muizzu won by a slim margin, beating his rival, PNC’s deputy leader and top lawmaker Adam Shareef Umar, by just two votes.

After losing the court battle, Yameen sent a note, instructing the PPM-PNC leadership to consider boycotting the election.

However, the joint senate decided against boycotting the election, after which Yameen decided to accept the decision, and endorsed Muizzu.

Muizzu won the presidential runoff election held on September 30 with 129,159 votes (54 percent), beating MDP’s Solih, the incumbent president, who won 109,868 votes (46 percent).

Upon winning the election, he appealed to President Solih to use his executive powers to transfer Yameen to house arrest. The outgoing president complied, and Yameen was transferred to his home in Male’, the next day.