301 parliamentary candidates at risk of imprisonment

Electoral officials count ballots during the parliamentary elections held on April 6, 2019. (File Photo/Sun/Fayaz Moosa)

301 out of the 395 candidates who ran for the recent parliamentary elections in Maldives are at risk of imprisonment over failure to submit their financial declarations.

General Elections Act requires all candidates of a national election to submit financial declarations detailing their campaign expenditures within 21 days of polling day.

The deadline for submission of financial declarations for candidates of the parliamentary elections on April 6 runs out at midnight this Saturday.

Spokesperson and member of EC, Ahmed Akram reports the commission received financial declarations of only 94 candidates by midnight last Friday.

“94 candidates submitted their financial declarations by end of last night. A large number of candidates are submitting financial declarations today,” said Akram.

General Elections Act declares failure to adhere to instructions made under the law as a criminal offense, punishable by a fine of MVR 6,000 to MVR 24,000 or a prison sentence of six months to two years.

The law also stipulates that the financial declaration must be approved by a registered auditor, posing a challenge for the candidates.

Elections Commission has announced it will be open for submission of financial declaration from 9 am to midnight this Saturday.