Former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, currently serving an 11-year prison sentence under house arrest for bribery and money laundering, made a public appearance at a campaign event outside Malé City. This event, supporting a candidate from the People’s National Front (PNF), was held in Hulhumalé Phase II.

Despite facing legal restrictions against participating in political activities and travelling out of Malé, Yameen attended the gathering on Sunday night, marking a bold move by the former president.

The PNF, an organisation yet to be officially registered as a political party, is heralded by his son, Zain Abdulla Yameen, due to legal restrictions that bar criminal convicts from active political engagement.

Yameen’s involvement in the event, particularly in the absence of an official address, highlights his continued influence within political circles, even as he blatantly disregards the conditions of his confinement.

His attendance at these events, despite the restrictions, has not yet prompted action from the Corrections Department, which had previously adjusted the terms of his confinement to allow for limited movement within Malé for essential activities.

This renewed political engagement from Yameen comes after his departure from the ruling PPM-PNC coalition, following internal conflicts and his subsequent initiative to form the PNF. His active participation in political gatherings, despite the formal ban, points to a strategic attempt to remain a significant figure within Maldivian politics.

The Corrections Department has yet to respond to inquiries regarding Yameen’s participation in the campaign event, maintaining a stance that restricts him from engaging in political activities.