Transitional spokesperson Mohamed Firzul Abdulla Khaleel has shed light on the nuanced relationship between President-elect Dr Mohamed Muizzu and former President Abdulla Yameen. While Muizzu rode to electoral victory with the backing of Yameen’s PPM-PNC coalition, the president-elect has not had extensive interactions with Yameen since the election.

Despite Yameen serving an 11-year sentence for bribery and money laundering, Muizzu’s relationship with him remains unstrained. However, meetings between the two have been limited. 

According to Firzul, the sparse interactions are due to Yameen’s current legal status and house arrest, coupled with Muizzu’s hectic transition schedule that includes liaising with diplomats and multiple parties.

“In his transitional work, the president-elect has been meeting many diplomats and various parties, making it challenging to find time for extensive discussions with Yameen,” Firzul stated. The legal complications surrounding Yameen also add to the obstacles in facilitating a more substantive dialogue.

Muizzu’s appeal to have Yameen transferred to house arrest was swiftly approved by outgoing President Solih, marking one of his first decisions following his election victory. Yet, even as Yameen resides under house arrest, tension simmers below the surface, according to political observers.

Yameen’s supporters have been rallying outside his residence, defying Muizzu’s request to refrain from such demonstrations. On one of these occasions, Yameen indirectly challenged Muizzu by encouraging the gatherings.