Former President and leader of the PPM-PNC Progressive Congress Coalition, Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom, has expressed that he seeks assurances from President-elect Dr. Mohamed Muizzu on two critical issues.
Yameen, who is currently serving an 11-year prison sentence due to a money laundering and bribery conviction, was recently transitioned from house arrest to a modified "city" arrest, permitting him limited mobility within Male' City. In his first political gathering since this change, President Yameen called for assurance from Dr. Muizzu regarding the retrieval of the Maldives' territory and the restoration of the nation's independence and sovereignty. He added that he would need updates on the progress of the conquests from time to time.
President Yameen and his supporters hold the view that the Maldives' independence and sovereignty have been compromised due to the presence of Indian military personnel in the country.
Ymeen noted that while Dr. Muizzu has been announcing some important policies he would implement under his rule, Yameen's interests are focused on the withdrawal of Indian troops from the Maldives and the reclamation of Maldivian waters that have been ceded during the current government, referring to the territorial dispute with Mauritius.
Yameen reiterated his stance that Indian soldiers should not be allowed to remain in the Maldives and emphasized that they would have to leave the Maldives. He also said the Maldives should reclaim Minicoy Island, which is said to have once been part of the Maldives but is now under Indian administration.
Yameen further said although PPM-PNC has been elected as the government, the days ahead would not be easy. He attributed the complications to the actions of the outgoing government, which he believed had jeopardized the Maldives' independence and impeded the country's progress by a decade.
The two issues on which President Yameen seeks assurances are also two issues that Dr.Muizzu has said he gives priority to. During the presidential election campaign and after the election, Muizzu has consistently pledged to withdraw any foreign troops from the Maldives and work towards the recovery of the disputed portion of Maldivian waters.
Leadership members of the PPM-PNC coalition were not present at Monday night's event, with former Vice President Mohamed Jameel being the sole figure alongside President Yameen.