Abdulla Yameen's return to the DRP fold could very well be the non-event par excellence of Election 2008. It is partly because no one believed Yameen left his brother anyway. It is also partly because Yameen does not appear any longer to be the political persona that he was on 11 April 2007 when he resigned from the cabinet.
Ironically, in an op-ed article in Miadhu Daily following Yameen's resignation in 2007 I had written that considering the situation as it existed then, he had an excellent chance to take a shot at the presidency, IF he started the campaign then. He didn't, and the rest is history, as they say.
As reported by Haveeru Daily, PA's decision to join forces with DRP is the result of 'convergence of ideas' and the inclusion of PA manifesto in that of DRP. "Under this agreement PA will give political support and assistance to promote the DRP presidential candidate and running mate in the 2008 Presidential Election," PA Vice President Moosa Rameez was quoted in Haveeru.
Yameen's return to his brother's side appears less a tactical move and more a zugzwang –the dilemma in chess where one is doomed to make a move. Unlike in mathematical equations, in politics 1+1 does not always add up to 2. It could even result in ½. Only time will tell the result of the DRP + PA equation.
What does Yameen bring to PA? His most obvious gift will be PA's half dozen odd MPs, who still have 6 months before their expiry date. And yes, some of them may even get elected. In return for this 'gift' DRP might have to pay a heavy price –renewed charges of nepotism.
Yameen is likely to get a couple of cabinet berths following this deal. But the looming question is, what did he gain from the one-year sabbatical? It is widely believed he left DRP because of differences of opinion over Gasim Ibrahim's position within the party. Gasim is of course no longer in the party, but others have stepped into the vacuum.
It's a nice gesture on the part of Yameen to come to the side of his aging brother. Probably this just about sums up the whole saga.