Former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom has defended President Dr Mohamed Muizzu against accusations of mismanagement, saying that the current challenges stem from the Maldivian Democratic Party’s (MDP) five-year tenure. 

Speaking at a People’s National Front (PNF) meeting, a party Yameen is establishing post-resignation from the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), he refuted claims that the current economic and governance challenges should be attributed to Muizzu’s administration.

Yameen criticized the MDP, the current opposition, for blaming President Muizzu for the country’s financial woes and governance issues, arguing that the MDP is responsible for the accumulated state debt and the lack of independence in state facilities. 

He also accused the MDP of compromising the country’s sovereignty by allowing Indian military presence and mishandling the Chagos issue, framing these actions as the root causes of the Maldives’ current predicament.

The former president further stated that the decline of the Maldives is a direct consequence of the MDP’s governance over the past five years, not President Muizzu’s leadership. He emphasised the need for electoral responsibility, urging the electorate to avoid candidates who obstruct governance or fail to hold the government accountable. He also touched on the upcoming parliamentary elections, advocating for the election of parliamentarians capable of constructive government oversight.

Yameen, currently under house arrest following an 11-year sentence for money laundering and bribery, highlighted his estranged relationship with President Muizzu over the latter’s failure to overturn Yameen’s sentence. President Muizzu has insisted that Yameen’s case be processed through the judicial system without government interference.

Despite legal restrictions against incarcerated individuals leading political activities, Yameen has been active in PNF politics. The Maldives Correctional Services has faced criticism for not acting on Yameen’s political involvement, highlighting a perceived inconsistency in the application of the law favouring powerful individuals.