Elections Commission rejects Yameen’s candidacy application

MALDIVES – The Elections Commission of Maldives has rejected former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Qayyoom’s candidacy application for the upcoming Presidential Election of Maldives this year.

The reason for the rejection was states as being unqualified to be a candidate, due to the 11 year prison sentence he is currently serving. According to the Maldivian constitution, all candidates contesting in the election must have passed three years since the completion of their sentence or being pardoned, should they have been convicted of a criminal offence in the past.

While Yameen is currently in the process of appealing his sentence at the High Court, the case is still pending at the court.

Following the decision, Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) is prepared to appeal the matter at the Supreme Court, said Yameen’s running mate, Dr. Mohamed Jameel Ahmed. Should the matter be escalated to the Supreme Court, the law requires the court to issue a ruling within seven days.

With the deadline for candidates to apply for the Presidential Election being next Monday, it is yet to be known whether PPM will be nominating another candidate. However, it has been reported that People’s National Congress (PNC), another party run by Yameen, is in discussions to bring forth a presidential candidate.