Former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom announced his plans to hold the current government accountable for deviating from the principles he champions. This declaration came after the High Court overturned his 11-year jail sentence on Thursday, citing the need for a retrial.

Speaking to reporters outside the courthouse, Yameen criticised the government’s approach under President Dr Mohamed Muizzu, particularly concerning the distribution of ministerial positions and the handling of national assets. He argued that positions were being allocated to undeserving individuals based on familial ties rather than merit, and that valuable land in the Maldives was being inappropriately sold off.

Yameen, who has formed a new political group named People’s National Front (PNF) after departing from the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), expressed dissatisfaction with how the government is currently operating, suggesting that it contradicts the values his former party stood for. Despite the strained relations, he did not entirely dismiss the possibility of cooperation with his previous party, indicating a willingness to discuss based on the merits of specific issues.

The former president’s convictions regarding the mismanagement of public assets and the undermining of Maldivian independence were clear. He emphasised his resolve to challenge any actions that he believes could harm the nation or compromise its values.

Legal challenges continue to overshadow Yameen’s political ambitions, with the necessity of a retrial keeping him ‘tethered to the courts.’ Despite these legal entanglements, he conveyed a lack of personal ambition for power, focusing instead on policy and ideological concerns.

The High Court’s decision to order a retrial reflects ongoing issues in the Maldivian judicial process. Yameen highlighted the delays and procedural inconsistencies that he believes marred his trial and resulted in a loss of rights, including his inability to contest in the recent presidential election due to his earlier sentencing.

With the parliamentary elections in just two days, Yameen is gearing up to support his party’s candidates. He has called for the electorate to carefully consider the capabilities and integrity of each candidate, advocating strong support for those aligned with his party.