Dunya Maumoon, the state minister for health and daughter of former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, has resigned.
She announced her resignation in a statement on Tuesday. Her departure from her uncle’s government appeared imminent after President Abdulla Yameen arrested her father on February 6, but has taken weeks to materialise.
“Resignation is not an easy decision and I walk away with a heavy heart. Walking away does not solve the country’s problems.
“Today, at this time of pain and crisis for both my family and my country, it is my sincere hope to see my father home at the earliest Insha’Allah. He is not just my father, but The Father of the Nation, who has built this country and has earned the respect and love of the people.”
“HEP Yameen is my uncle, he is also my blood. My offer to support the president and other political leaders to resolve conflict through peaceful dialogue remains.”
Gayoom campaigned on behalf of Yameen during the 2013 presidential election, but withdrew support for him in 2016 after a bitter power struggle within the ruling party that saw it split in half.
“I have refused to be bullied by different political forces and I remain strong and stand by my convictions. As I said before, I walk alone. I have not joined the opposition and I remain an independent. A proud Maldivian citizen,” she said.
Dunya’s brother Faris Maumoon has emerged as a leading figure in the opposition alliance and is currently in jail. In his absence, Dunya’s twin sister Yumna has represented the breakaway faction. Yumna’s husband Nadeem was jailed along with Gayoom.
Gayoom said at the time that her decision to rejoin was her own and that he did not support it.