Former President Abdulla Yameen has announced the formation of a new political party, the People’s National Front (PNF), amidst escalating disputes with the leadership of the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM).

Mohamed Maleeh Jamal, representing Yameen, unveiled the party’s name, logo, and violet colour, although this colour choice may face approval issues with the Elections Commission (EC) due to a conflict with the EC’s official colour.

Yameen’s departure from PPM was marked by significant developments on Friday, 24 November, when the owner of PPM’s office building at Henveiru Hurafaa, a supporter of Yameen, demanded that the party vacate the premises. PNF is likely to establish its offices in this building.

This move followed Yameen’s resignation from PPM, as announced by his advocate and former Vice President Dr Mohamed Jameel Ahmed. Jameel cited Yameen’s growing rift with the PPM leadership and the party’s refusal to acknowledge his leadership and contributions.

Yameen’s decision to establish PNF was described by Jameel as a necessary step to preserve his political career after being denied leadership opportunities in PPM. The formation of PNF, with Yameen’s eldest son Zein Abdulla Yameen designated as its founder, marks a significant shift in Maldivian politics.

On Sunday, Yameen’s aides officially submitted documents for the formation of the party and held discussions with the EC. Initially, they nominated eight candidates as founders, including Yameen himself, former Vice President Jameel, former Commissioner of Police Hussain Waheed, former Chief of Staff Ahmed Mustafa, Adlee Ismail, former Vice President Dr Abdulla Jihad, and Ali Adam. However, the EC’s regulations stipulate that only one founder can be listed, leading to the selection of Zein as the founder.

In a Channel 13 interview, Jameel accused the PPM leadership of sidelining Yameen, contrasting their current stance with their earlier reliance on his opinions, even during his incarceration. He highlighted that while PPM was open to collaboration with other parties, it explicitly rejected cooperation with Yameen.

This development represents a critical juncture in the Maldivian politics, with former President Yameen asserting his continued engagement in politics while ensuring non-interference with President Dr Mohamed Muizzu’s administration.

The emergence of PNF under Yameen’s leadership may lead to new alignments and dynamics in the Maldivian political arena, as top leaders of his earlier coalition of PPM-PNC have publicly declared allegiance to President Muizzu.