Yameen alleges PNC attempted to have his wife and son arrested

Former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom (C) attends a PNF rally on April 15, 2024. (Sun Photo/Moosa Nadheem)

Former Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom alleges that the leadership of the ruling PPM-PNC (Progressive Party of Maldives – People’s National Congress) coalition – which he once headed – wanted to have his spouse, Fathimath Ibrahim (Fathun), and his son, Zain Abdulla Yameen, join the serial protests demanding his freedom in order to have them arrested.

 The former PPM-PNC leader made the serious allegation during a rally held at the People’s National Front (PNF) headquarters in Male’ City on Sunday night.

It comes after Abdul Raheem Abdulla, the PNC’s chairperson, questioned during a campaign event last week the loyalty of Yameen’s wife and children, saying that it was the same PNC leadership, and not they, who took to the streets and sacrificed for him when he was imprisoned.

“Here, you see sincere people. There isn’t a sincere wife or child left in this country. I have seen this with my own eyes. We are deeply affected. Oh, the sacrifices we made! The suffering we went through!” he said.

Addressing Sunday’s rally, Yameen questioned whether his wife, Fathun, had been serving as PPM’s deputy leader. He also questioned whether he was imprisoned because he was someone’s husband or because he was a political leader.

“Why are you blaming my family for something the PPM-PNC leadership failed to do?” he asked.

Yameen alleged that the PPM leadership handpicks the protestors who will get arrested during each demonstration, adding that he knows exactly who does the choosing and tells the police who to arrest.

Former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom (C) attends a PNF rally on April 15, 2024. (Sun Photo/Moosa Nadheem)

“…There are two people from my family who represent and speak for me when I am in prison, whether its to my friends, to my well-wishers, or foreign governments; that is my eldest, Zain, and my wife, Fathimath. If they had taken to the streets, then the instructions would have come directly from them [PPM-PNC leadership] to ensure they are the first to get arrested,” he said.

 Yameen also questioned whether Abdul Raheem’s family secured jobs in the new administration by protesting on the streets.

Yameen, who was sentenced to 11 years in prison on December 25, 2022 on charges of bribery and money laundering in connection to the sale of V. Aarah, was transferred home on October 1, 2023 – a day after President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu won the presidential election.

But less than a week after President Muizzu took office in November, Yameen left the PPM-PNC coalition – and initiated efforts to form PNF.

Yameen has appealed his conviction with the High Court. While the appellant court wrapped up its hearings months back, it has yet to deliver a verdict.

Despite the law prohibiting him from engaging in active politics due to his conviction, Yameen continues to be heavily involved in PNF’s activities, even attending party meetings and campaign events.

He has also grown increasingly vocal in his criticism of President Muizzu’s administration.