Former vice president Ahmed Adeeb on Thursday became the first person to sign for a new political party called the Maldives Third-Way Democrats.
After three years in prison, Adeeb was transferred to house arrest on Tuesday night. The Maldives Correctional Services authorised the transfer based on doctor’s recommendations after he underwent surgery to remove kidney stones.
An application to form the Maldives Third-Way Democrats was submitted to the Elections Commission by Ismail Asif, vice president of the Maldives Chamber of Commerce, who was permitted to seek the 3,000 signatures needed to formally register the party.
Asif told the press that he hoped to see Adeeb as a leader of the new party. He hoped the former vice president, who is serving 33 years in prison for corruption and terrorism, would have a fair opportunity to appeal his multiple convictions.
Citing a high flight risk, the former administration had rejected pleas to allow Adeeb to seek treatment overseas for kidney stones and internal cysts. He must return millions of dollars stolen from the state tourism company, former president Abdulla Yameen insisted.
Adeeb “said he will go undergo every possible treatment available in Maldives to face all the investigations and clear his name,” his wife tweeted before the surgery last month.
Following Yameen’s heavy defeat in September’s polls, several senior figures of the Maldivian Democratic Party-led four-party coalition called for Adeeb to be provided treatment as his supporters and lawyers stepped up a campaign for his medical leave.
The calls prompted concern from the family of missing journalist Ahmed Rilwan, who said Adeeb must not be allowed to flee before a fresh investigation into the abduction.
According to Adeeb’s family, he is also suffering from glaucoma, a condition that could result in the loss of eyesight without proper treatment and has internal cysts that could turn into cancer.