In a notable return, Ali Waheed, the first tourism minister of the former Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) administration, has officially rejoined the party on Thursday after seven years and seven days.
Ali Waheed made the announcement of his return in a post on X, expressing his well-wishes for the success of MDP, the Maldivian nation, and its citizens. He pledged to serve diligently as he resumes his affiliation with the party.
A former chairperson of MDP, Ali Waheed had previously been actively involved in the party’s leadership. His return follows his departure from the party seven years ago.
During his absence from MDP, Ali Waheed was engaged in the presidential campaign of Jumhoory Party (JP)’s presidential candidate and leader, Qasim Ibrahim, upon his return to the Maldives in July. However, he left JP after the party lost in the first round of the presidential election.
Ali Waheed’s return to the Maldives in July 2020 marked the end of almost three years of self-exile in the UK. His return was prompted by the dismissal of the sexual misconduct case against him, initially brought to light by allegations from multiple female employees at the Tourism Ministry.
The former tourism minister faced seven charges, including attempted rape, indecent exposure, and sexual assault. Despite leaving the Maldives mid-trial, citing medical purposes, the Supreme Court nullified the sentencing of two months and 12 days in prison for contempt of court, as Ali Waheed had failed to appear for a hearing.
Upon his return, Ali Waheed expressed a shift away from political involvement and declared his primary focus on football. He went on to form a new football team, ‘Atolls FC,’ where he serves as the coach, signaling a new chapter in his post-political career.