Approval to be sought for Yameen’s new party on Sunday

Former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom waves to supporters from his residence. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Former Minister Mohamed Maleeh Jamal, on Friday, said approval will be sought from the Elections Commission (EC) for the new political party being formed by former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom on Sunday.

The conflict within the PPM-PNC coalition boiled over on Thursday, just short of a week into President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu’s administration, with Yameen announcing his intention to leave PPM, to form a new political party. He immediately commenced efforts to form the new party last night.

Maleeh, who is spearheading the formation process of the new party, told Sun on Friday that Yameen had finalized the new name of the party last night and the party’s logo this morning. Maleeh added that the name and the logo will be unveiled to the public once the administrative process has been completed, and EC has granted approval.

“Am hoping to submit for EC’s approval to form the party on Sunday morning,” he added.

Yameen resigned from PPM after his term expired as the party’s leader. The most senior officials of the party following his resignation are the two deputy leaders; Fisheries Minister Ahmed Shiyam and Defense Minister Mohamed Ghassan.

Despite efforts to the form a new party, Yameen cannot be physically involved in politics in light of his prison conviction.

The former president, who was moved from prison to home confinement in October, recently appointed a 13-member steering committee to take charge of PPM, after accusing the party’s leadership of sidelining him. However, the party decided the committee was appointed irregularly, and expelled Maleeh – who had led the committee.

Freeing Yameen is one of the biggest electoral pledges of President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu, who is now the leader of PNC.  

Yameen was sentenced to 11 years in prison on December 25, 2022, after he was convicted of money laundering and bribery charges in the sale of V. Aarah for resort development. The High Court appeal of the conviction is nearing an end.

After President Muizzu won the presidential election on September 30, he asked the caretaker president, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, to use his executive powers to transfer Yameen from his prison to his home in Male’.

Yameen was transferred to home confinement the next day.

He was later granted additional easements to his home confinement, allowing him to leave his home for medical treatment, exercise, and to attend certain gatherings.

Yameen’s supporters have slammed Muizzu for his failure to free Yameen on his first day of office as pledges.

President Muizzu had only run in the election after the Elections Commission rejected Yameen’s candidacy due to his conviction. The decision was later backed by the Supreme Court.