MALDIVES – Former President of Maldives Abdulla Yameen Abdul Qayyoom has submitted his candidacy form to run in the upcoming Presidential Elections of Maldives today.
Yameen, who is currently serving an 11 year prison sentence was unable to submit the form in person. As such, the submission was made by Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) senate members on his behalf, led by his running mate, Dr. Mohamed Jaleem Ahmed, at the Elections Commission Office.
It has been reported that many high level PPM members were unable to attend the form submission activities today as they are in Sri Lanka, attending the funeral of Yameen’s mother who passed away yesterday.
Although the form was submitted, it is yet to be confirmed whether the Elections Commission will accept Yameen’s candidacy – the main reason being his incarceration, which according to the country’s constitution, disqualifies him from running in the election.
The constitution stipulates that all candidates contesting in the Presidential Elections with a jail sentence of more than 12 months for criminal charges must have passed three years since the sentence was served or pardoned. Since Yameen is still serving his sentence after being convicted of accepting bribery in the lease of V. Aarah and using the funds to launder money, it is unclear whether Yameen will be allowed to contest in the election.
As the party await’s a response from the Elections Commission on whether the form will be accepted, the Commission has said that a response will be given within 24 hours from the time for the form being accepted.
Vice President of the Elections Comission Ismail Habeeb said that they have no intention of delaying a response regarding the application, even though the commission is granted a 48 hour window to accept or reject the application.
The Commission also highlighted that the applicants have the opportunity to appeal the decisions by the Commission at the Supreme Court, should they be dissatisfied with the Commission’s response.
According to the law, such claims must be raised with the Supreme Court within five days of receiving a response from the Elections Commission, and the Supreme Court is required to rule on the matter within seven days.