Ex-president Yameen seeks to form new political party in Maldives
Former president Abdulla Yameen is seeking to form a new party called the People’s National Alliance, anticipating an unfavourable ruling from the Supreme Court in the dispute over leadership of the Progressive Party of Maldives. PPM deputy leader Abdul Raheem Abdulla submitted an application to the Elections Commission on Sunday.
If the paperwork is complete, authorisation will be given this week to begin the process of formally registering the party, EC member Ahmed Akram told the press. Yameen confirmed plans to form a new party at an event held last week to award the PPM’s ticket to 13 candidates for the April 6 parliamentary elections. The opposition leader urged PPM members to join him in migrating to the new party. But there would be no need of a new party if the Supreme Court rules in his favour when it returns from recess, he noted.
The Supreme Court is due to hear a lawsuit filed by two PPM members seeking an order to hand over control of the party to former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom. Gayoom was stripped of his powers as the party’s elected president in a 2016 civil court order, which ordered Yameen – who previously held a ceremonial role as the party’s chief advisor – to resume council meetings under his leadership.
The council promptly put the former president in charge of the party. But Gayoom disputed the legitimacy of the Yameen-led council, insisting he remains the PPM’s leader. The 82-year-old went on to join forces with opposition parties to form the broad coalition that defeated Yameen at the polls. A separate case involving the PPM’s leadership is also before the Supreme Court after the Elections Commission appealed a High Court decision ordering it to recognise decisions made at a national congress. Yameen was elected the PPM’s president at the extraordinary congress held days his heavy defeat in the September 23 presidential election.