The ruling People’s National Congress-Progressive Party of Maldives (PNC-PPM) has decided to reverse its earlier decision to bar certain candidates from participating in primaries for the upcoming parliamentary elections, scheduled for March 17.
The initial decision to exclude specific members from the primaries, made over allegations of alignment with former President Abdulla Yameen in a dispute with the incumbent President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu, sparked protests. Yesterday, disgruntled members, whose candidacies had been revoked, gathered at the PNC office, leading to quarrels with those supporting the party’s initial stance.
However, today saw a sudden change in the party’s position, with the coalition announcing that all candidates, including those previously barred, will now be permitted to participate in the primaries. This reversal followed complaints from some members within the coalition.
PNC Chairperson Abdul Raheem Abdulla attributed the decision to party leader President Muizzu. Notably, former President Yameen, the PPM’s former leader currently serving an 11-year prison sentence on corruption charges, parted ways with the party in November 2023. Yameen’s associates claimed that President Muizzu severed ties with him, leading to accusations of the government hindering the party’s activities.
Since his departure, Yameen has been actively involved in establishing a new party, the People’s National Front, adding a layer of complexity to the evolving political landscape in the Maldives.