Malé, Maldives – Opposition coalition has said that presidential campaign of opposition coalition leader and former President Abdullah Yameen will not stop despite serving his jail sentence.
Speaking at a press conference by the the opposition leadership members held a at the PPM office yesterday, PNC President Abdul Raheem Abdullah said the priority is to plan the next programs following the verdict.
“We will complete the work and continue all the work that President Yameen has started in consultation with him,” he said.
He said the opposition would continue its trips to the atolls as planned. They will also go to the islands and meet the people and President Yameen’s campaign will continue without interruption, he said.
Yameen was sentenced to 11 years in prison on Sunday after being convicted of taking bribes and laundering the money on the lease of V. Aarah. He is serving his sentence in Maafushi jail.
The opposition has said it will appeal the verdict. They also said they would do everything necessary to do so and would meet with government agencies.
At the same time, the opposition is holding a series of protests calling for Yameen’s release.
Opposition has also decided to hold a nationwide movement calling for Yameen’s release, Abdul Raheem said at the meeting yesterday. The event will be held next Friday evening from 16:00 to 18:00. Abdul Raheem did not give much details about the movement but said he would share the information later.
The opposition coalition’s joint senate decided that President Yameen would be the candidate for the presidential election, and he took over the presidential ticket on July 31 this year.
However, with the verdict, Yameen has faced legal obstacles to contesting next year’s presidential election.
The Constitution states that a person who has been convicted of a criminal offense and sentenced to more than one year in prison can contest the presidential election if the sentence has been served and three years have passed afterwards. He has been pardoned for three years but can contest the elections.
The Criminal Court had earlier sentenced Yameen to five years in jail in a criminal case. in November 2019, the Criminal Court sentenced that Yameen was guilty of laundering USD 1 million of the government through MMPRC by leasing GA. Vodamula. The High Court upheld the verdict. However, the Supreme Court quashed the sentence last year and he was released. There were no obstacles to contesting the presidential election.
The PGO also has another ongoing case against the Former President of accepting bribes worth MVR 117,000 during the lease of R. Fuggiri for the development of a tourist resort.