Maleeh votes for ‘Yameen’s candidate’ in PPM-PNC primaries

Mohamed Maleeh Jamal. (File Photo/Sun/Mohamed Afrah)

Former telecommunications minister Mohamed Maleeh Jamal, who the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) decided to expel in November 2023, has voted in the ruling PPM-PNC coalition’s primaries for the parliamentary elections.

Maleeh told Sun on Saturday that despite the decision to dismiss, his name wasn’t omitted from the party’s membership registry.

He said that he voted in the PPM-PNC primaries for the candidate endorsed by former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, who resigned as the coalition’s leader in November.

Maleeh said that there were still members loyal to Yameen in both parties, some of whom were contesting the primaries. He claimed that the coalition was removing their names from the parties’ registry.

He accused Abul Raheem Abdulla (Adhurey) PNC’s chairperson and special advisor to President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu, of being behind it.

“They are meddling greatly. The issue arose at polling stations today,” he said, referring to disturbances at some of the polling stations in Male’.

Maleeh also claimed that he saw a number of members of the main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) voting in the PPM-PNC primaries.

“This was done with the deliberate intention of bringing down candidates loyal to President Yameen. We will see a lot of candidates touting MDP’s ideology get elected as PPM-PNC candidates,” he said.

PPM’s ethics committee decided to expel Maleeh in November, after accusing him from engaging in attempts to ruin the party’s reputation and create internal strife.

The decision came within days after Maleeh led a press conference on behalf of a 13-member steering committee appointed by Yameen, after the conflict within the PPM-PNC coalition boiled over, just short of a week into President Muizzu’s administration

Amid the turmoil, Yameen left the PPM, and is now working on forming a new party – the People’s National Front (PNF).