The People’s National Front (PNF), founded by Zain Abdulla Yameen, son of former President Abdulla Yameen, has officially submitted the required 3,000 membership forms to the Elections Commission (EC) for registration. This move comes three months after the EC’s initial approval for the party’s formation.

The submission marks a critical step towards formalising the PNF’s presence in the political arena, following delays attributed to various reasons. Initially, the party had pledged to gather the necessary signatures within a week of the EC’s approval in November last year. However, this timeline was extended citing different reasons by its founding allies.

Former Youth Minister Maleeh Jamal, a key figure in the party’s establishment, confirmed the submission of 3,200 forms, exceeding the minimum requirement. He said the additional forms underscore the party’s eagerness to expedite the registration process and convene its inaugural council meeting.

The party’s establishment is closely linked to the political aspirations of Abdulla Yameen, who is currently under house arrest serving an 11-year sentence for money laundering and bribery. Despite these circumstances, Yameen’s influence remains pivotal, with the PNF delaying its formal registration until his potential release, highlighting his central role in the party’s future.

The PNF’s journey to official recognition began in earnest last November when Abdulla Yameen announced his departure from the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) following a dispute with incumbent President Dr Mohamed Muizzu. This led to the formation of the PNF, signalling a new chapter in his political career.

The Elections Commission is now tasked with verifying the submitted forms before the PNF can hold its first official meeting, a procedure that will cement the party’s legal status and enable it to participate fully in the political process.