PPM leadership decides not to recommend running mate; Yameen to choose

Former President and leader of the opposition Yameen Abdul Gayyoom | photo: edition.mv

Opposition PPM/PNC leadership has decided to leave it to former President Abdullah Yameen to appoint a running mate for this year’s presidential election.

According to the PPP’s constitution, the party’s presidential candidate will determine his running mate.

Former President Abdullah Yameen, who is currently serving an 11-year prison sentence, has signed his candidacy form with the assistance of Maldives Corrections.

With this, a running mate must be nominated before submitting the form to the Election Commission.

PPM Secretary General Mohammed Tholal, who has been appointed as Yameen’s election agent, said the candidate has the right to nominate a running mate under the party’s constitution. However, Yameen has asked the party leadership to send names of those who they recommend.

However, opposition leadership has decided not to give specific name and leave it to the discretion of the candidate in accordance with the constitution, Tholal said.

Although media reports have been circulating that a running mate for President Yameen has been determined, Tholal said that a running mate has not yet been finalised yet.

Yameen was sentenced to 11 years in jail by the Criminal Court. The court ruled that Yameen had taken USD 1.1 million as a bribe from Yoosuf Naeem and laundered the money.

The appeal against the verdict began in the High Court last month but no hearing was held after the Eid holidays. Judge Huzaifa Mohammed of the bench was first on leave for family reasons while Judge Mohammed Salim is currently on leave.

Although the PPM/PNC coalition has given Yameen the presidential ticket, Elections Commission has previously stated that it will not accept his candidacy as long as his jail sentence remains in force.

In addition, Yameen was accused of taking USD 1.1 million as bribe from the company that leased the Fuggiri island through Ahmed Riza and laundering the money through two “Sun” companies.

The case is pending in the Criminal Court. Riza’s part has been taken away and the part of the charges against Yameen and Sun’s two companies is now underway.