Former President Abdullah Yameen Abdul Gayoom has announced that his newly formed People’s National Front (PNF) will collaborate with the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), a long-standing adversary. This announcement follows the High Court’s decision to overturn his 11-year jail sentence on Thursday and order a retrial.

This development marks the first time in the history of the Maldives’ multi-party system that these two opposing sides will align. Yameen’s PNF, a splinter group from the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and People’s National Congress (PNC) coalition—both of which he helped establish—has traditionally been at odds with the MDP in terms of ideology.

Yameen, speaking publicly for the first time since his release after serving 480 days for charges of money laundering and bribery, expressed gratitude towards the MDP for supporting some PNF candidates in Sunday’s parliamentary elections.

He clarified that while a formal coalition is not planned, he will collaborate with the MDP, currently the largest opposition party both in parliament and as a political entity.

Yameen acknowledged longstanding ideological differences, stating that cooperation would occur without compromising his political beliefs and policies.

Both parties have found common ground on several critical issues, including the need for increased transparency in governance, concerns over the replacement of Indian military personnel with civilian operators, and the contentious long-term leasing of Maldivian land to foreign entities, which they believe could undermine national sovereignty.

The MDP has not yet confirmed the partnership and has not made any comment on Yameen’s statement.