President Muizzu replaces Yameen as PPM-PNC leader

Former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom greets supporters gather outside his residence on October 1, 2023. (Sun Photo/Maahil Athif)

President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu has been elected as the leader of the main ruling coalition, composed of Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and People’s National Congress (PNC) – a position vacated with former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s decision to leave the coalition.

President Muizzu was elected as the leader of PPM-PNC in a join senate meeting on Wednesday night.

In a post on X, Mohamed Shakeel, a senator from PPM, said President Muizzu was elected as the coalition’s leader with the unanimous consensus of the joint senate.

PNC was founded by Yameen in 2019 as a backup, following the dispute between him and his brother, former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom over PPM’s ownership.

After Yameen won the court case, PNC because PPM’s coalition partner, with the former Maldivian president serving as the leader of the coalition.

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

Following the court decision, Yameen initially asked the PPM-PNC coalition to boycott the election, but later rescinded the request following opposition from leaders of the coalition. The joint senate then took a vote to decide on a presidential candidate, which President Muizzu won by a slim margin.

Yameen did not endorse him until the very last minute.

But just short of a week into President Muizzu’s administration, Yameen left PPM, and announced plans to form a new party – the People’s National Front (PNF).