Maldives ex-pres 'undecided' over parliament bid

Former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom refused to be drawn in to the speculation surrounding his political future insisting that he is yet to decide over contesting in the upcoming parliamentary elections.

In his first public appearance since his term in office ended last month following his stunning election defeat to the opposition alliance, Yameen refused to comment on his bid to contest in the parliamentary elections slated for March for next year.

During the ceremony last night, the former president gifted party tickets to as many as 24 sitting lawmakers of his Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) without a primary.

Speaking to reporters after the ceremony, president Yameen hinted that more party tickets could be gifted to former members of his cabinet without holding primaries.

The move comes weeks after PPM won the challenge against the Election Commission's refusal to endorse the party's congress which elected former president Yameen as the new party leader.

PPM had claimed that president Yameen who suffered a rather embarrassing defeat to the opposition alliance candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih in September's presidential elections was voted in as the new leader unanimously by congress members.

However, the members of the Elections Commission had refused to endorse the congress citing procedural violations.

The first appellate court ruled in favour of PPM and ordered the elections commission to recognize the leadership elected during the congress within 24 hours.

The development would came as a major boost for Yameen who is facing a battle to hold onto the party in his bid to remain as the country's new opposition leader.