In a significant development in Maldivian politics, prominent leaders of the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and its sister party, the People's National Congress (PNC), have publicly declared their support for the newly sworn-in President, Dr. Muizzu. This declaration comes in the wake of former President Yameen's recent departure from PPM and his announcement of forming a new political party.
Dr. Muizzu, who took his oath of office on November 17, 2023, marks a new era in the political landscape of the Maldives. He steps into the presidency following a five-year term led by the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) with Ibrahim Mohamed Solih as the President. Dr. Muizzu's rise to the presidency comes after his victory over President Solih in the presidential elections held on September 30th, representing the PNC.
The backdrop of this political shift is colored by the controversies surrounding former President Yameen, who led the country from November 17, 2013, to November 17, 2018. During his tenure, President Yameen was embroiled in corruption and money laundering charges, leading to his incarceration and subsequently barring him from running in the recent presidential race. This paved the way for Dr. Muizzu, once a member of Yameen's cabinet, to contest as the PNC’s candidate and secure the opposition's ticket.
The political landscape took an interesting turn when President Yameen was transferred to house arrest a day after Dr. Muizzu's election victory. The growing rift between the two leaders has become more apparent, especially considering Dr. Muizzu's previous close association with President Yameen's administration.
President Yameen's decision to leave PPM and create a new party, less than a week after President Muizzu assumed office, has led to a significant realignment within the Maldivian political sphere. The leadership of both PPM and PNC, along with several key activists, have rallied behind President Muizzu, showcasing a strong endorsement of his leadership.
In contrast, the support for President Yameen appears to have dwindled, with only a few notable figures remaining by his side. These include his former Vice President, Dr. Jameel, and Jameel’s cousin brother, Maleeh Jamaal, who served as a minister in President Solih's government.
This shift in allegiances within the Maldives' major political parties marks a critical moment in the country's political dynamics, potentially shaping the future course of its governance and policy-making. As President Muizzu embarks on his term, the support from PPM and PNC leaders underscores a collective move towards a new political chapter in the Maldives.