The People’s National Front (PNF), a faction separated from the ruling coalition of the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and the People’s National Congress (PNC), has stated it will delay the official registration as a political party until its founder, former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, is released from prison.

The PNF, which consists of supporters loyal to the incarcerated ex-President, confirmed in December that it had achieved the required 3,000-member threshold for political party registration.

The Elections Commission approved the establishment of the People’s National Front on 29 November. However, the party has postponed formal registration, insisting on the release of Yameen as a precondition.

Addressing criticism regarding the delay, Maleeh Jamaal, who had served as a cabinet minister under both President Yameen and President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, told local media that the party has secured membership forms from 3,000 individuals. Jamaal emphasised that the party is awaiting the continuation of the former president’s appeal process. 

He did not disclose the total number of members or provide details about members who have defected from Yameen’s previous parties, the Progressive Party of Maldives and the People’s National Congress.

The creation of the PNF followed Yameen’s departure from the Progressive Party of Maldives, which he had led for several years. His exit coincided with rising tensions within the PPM and its partner, the PNC. 

Subsequently, the PPM-PNC coalition announced that President Dr Mohamed Muizzu would take over the leadership role vacated by Yameen, as decided unanimously by the 103 members at a joint Senate meeting.