Maldives ruling party elects outgoing pres as new leader

Maldives' ruling party on Saturday elected outgoing president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom as the new party leader during its congress which was largely held behind closed doors.

Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) on Twitter claimed that president Yameen who suffered a rather embarassing defeat to the opposition alliance candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih in last week's presidential elections was voted in unanimously by congress members.

However, details of the congress were scarce as the party refused to allow local media to cover the event. President Yameen appeared to be voted in as the new PPM leader by a show of hands from pictures released by the party.

The party's last congress was held in 2013 to elect former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom as the party president. Gayoom however was unceremoniously ousted from the party after falling-out with his half brother Yameen and has since been jailed over the alleged plot to overthrow the government in February.

The Civil Court in 2016 found Gayoom guilty of violating the constitution, party charter and the political party law and handed-over party control to president Yameen.

Gayoom's daughter Yumna Maumoon had on Thursday asked the civil court for a stay order on the congress. The court after accepting the suit had not issued a stay on the congress in time.