Gayoom's son reiterates allegiance to uncle despite family row

Deposed ruling party leader Maumoon Abdul Gayoom's youngest son Ghassan Maumoon on Wednesday reiterated his allegiance to his uncle and incumbent president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom despite a bitter power struggle between the Gayoom brothers splitting the family in two.

The bitter row has split the family in two, with Ghassan and Dhunya Maumoon siding with their uncle while their siblings Faris Maumoon and Yumna Maumoon in their father's corner.

The elder Gayoom's decision to partner with the opposition has resulted in the jailing of Faris who is the Dhiggaru lawmaker.

Speaking during a program on state TV on Wednesday evening, Ghassan said the family row had not affected his relations with his father or the other siblings.

Ghassan who serves as the state minister at the president's office insisted that his father had always encouraged his children to forge their own political path.

He also denied allegations that he was pressurized by his uncle to remain with the government, insisting that he chose to remain with president Yameen because he had seen his "efforts up close and it was the best possible choice for the country."

"I don't think I need to respond to every rumour or allegation. I have been with president Yameen from day one. And that hasn't changed. So I don't think I need to explain that every time somebody makes an accusation," Ghassan explained.