Former Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, who had been serving an 11-year prison sentence on corruption charges, has been temporarily transferred to home confinement. This development comes on the heels of the Maldivian President-elect, Dr. Mohamed Muizzu, winning the presidential election runoff.
Yameen, the leader of the opposition coalition known as PPM-PNC, had been convicted of money laundering and bribery charges related to the sale of V. Aarah on December 26, 2022. The Maldives Correctional Service announced his transfer from Maafushi Prison to his home in Male’ City, emphasizing that he would continue to be treated as an inmate.
The decision to transfer Yameen came after President-elect Muizzu’s request to the caretaker president, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, to use his executive powers for this purpose. Muizzu, who won 54 percent of the votes in the election runoff, argued that the move was in the best interests of the country. Yameen had attempted to contest the presidential election on behalf of PPM-PNC but was disqualified due to his ongoing conviction, which is currently under appeal at the High Court.
During his campaign, Muizzu and other PPM-PNC leaders accused President Solih’s administration of exerting influence on Yameen’s court case. Muizzu promised to address this alleged government influence and ensure Yameen’s fair treatment once in office.
The decision to transfer Yameen to home confinement has stirred reactions among his supporters, who gathered outside his residence, near the party’s “Dhiveheenge Raajje” center in Male’. His wife, Fathimath Ibrahim, was among those present.
It remains to be seen how this development will impact the political landscape in the Maldives and whether it will lead to further changes in the country’s leadership dynamics.