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Yameen's legal team working to place him under house arrest before Ramadan

16 March 2023, MVT 16:03
President Abdullah Yameen in Malé for a hearing / MIHAARU PHOTO
16 March 2023, MVT 16:03

The opposition coalition has revealed that they are working towards transferring the former President and their presidential candidate, Abdulla Yameen, to house arrest.

At a joint press conference held by the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and the People's National Congress (PNC) coalition on Wednesday, PNC's Vice President Ibrahim Shujau said that Yameen's legal team is working tirelessly to place their leader under house arrest.

He highlighted that Ramadan was approaching, and that the opposition's aim was to enable Yameen to spend the holy month with his family.

"We are using all the resources at our disposal to transfer Yameen to house arrest. All the official wings of the party are working tirelessly to ensure that he gets to spend Ramadan with his family. We are not leaving anything unfinished," he said.

Despite being disqualified from running in the presidential election due to the hefty sentence levied against him, the opposition maintains that he would be able to contest in the election slated for September 9.

They have repeatedly said that Yameen would be freed this month, and that he would ultimately be able to win the election as well.

When asked what their plan for the election is if Yameen's sentence is not overturned, the opposition said that they did not have a "plan B" and reiterated that his name would be on the ballot.

During his presidency in 2017, Yameen had temporarily released the current Minister of Home Affairs, Sheikh Imran Abdullah, from Maafushi Prison for the month of Ramadan. Imran was serving a 12-year sentence at the time for inciting violence against the government in a speech he gave at a rally. His sentence was overturned by the Supreme Court in November 2018, immediately after President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih was elected to office.

The Criminal Court sentenced the former president to 11 years of imprisonment and fined him USD 5 million in December last year for accepting USD 1 million in bribes and laundering the money in the lease of Vaavu atoll Aarah.

Potential presidential candidates must file their candidacy between July 23 and August 3. Therefore, if Yameen wishes to contest in this year's presidential election, he must be acquitted before August.