The People’s National Front (PNF), led by Zain Abdulla Yameen, the son of former President Abdulla Yameen, is set to convene its inaugural congress on Tuesday, 9 April, Mohamed Maleeh Jamal, the former science minister and a key figure in the party’s establishment, has confirmed.

President Yameen, despite facing legal constraints that prohibit his active participation in political activities due to an ongoing conviction and sentence, has formally requested the Maldives Correctional Service (MCS) for permission to attend the PNF’s inaugural congress.

Jamal, posting on X, formerly Twitter, said that the party’s inaugural congress is now scheduled for 9:15 p.m. on April 9th at Ghiyasuddin International School, and it will see the presence of Yameen.

However, an official from the corrections authority, who wished to remain anonymous, confirmed to a local media outlet that President Yameen had not been granted permission to attend the meeting. However, the corrections body has not officially confirmed this information.

“We have duly replied to his [President Yameen’s] letter. As correspondences between an individual/inmate etc. and MCS are confidential, we are not at the liberty to disclose the contents,” an MCS official told Maldives Republic.

President Yameen is currently serving an 11-year prison sentence for bribery and money laundering. Despite the prison sentence, Yameen was moved to house arrest following President Mohamed Muizzu’s election victory late last year.

The inaugural congress, initially slated for Monday, was postponed to Tuesday in line with the Elections Commission’s (EC) requirement for a three-day notification period before holding a political party’s inaugural congress.

In November of last year, the EC initially gave the green light to the formation of the PNF, contingent upon amassing sufficient support. Despite a setback in February when some of the submitted membership forms were deemed invalid, the PNF fulfilled the necessary criteria, paving the way for its official inauguration.