Gayoom denies mending ties with brother despite daughter's switch

Ousted ruling party leader and former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom Thursday denied mending ties half brother president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom despite his daughter's defection to the government.

President Yameen Thursday appointed former foreign minister and his niece Dhunya Maumoon as the new state health minister amid the ongoing rift with the elder Gayoom.

Dhunya suddenly stepped down last July over what she described as a profound differences of opinion with the government’s bid to enforce the death penalty.

She along with siblings Yumna and Faaris had been dragged into the bitter dispute between her uncle and father who had officially withdrawn support for the government after the civil court had handed the ruling party control to her uncle.

Questions were being asked of what Dhunya's decision would mean to the clash between the two Gayooms before the former president who ruled the country for three decades insisted that he did not support his daughter's decision to return to the government.

"Dhunya's decision to go back to the government is her own. I don't support her decision," the elder Gayoom said on Twitter shortly after the appointment was made public.