Mahloof goes to EC over disqualification from MDP National Council elections

Sports Minister Ahmed Mahloof during a press conference on May 12, 2019. (File Photo/Sun/Fayaz Moosa)

Youth Minister Ahmed Mahloof has filed a complaint at the Elections Commission – over his disqualification from contesting in Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) National Council elections.

Mahloof noted that the complaint was submitted as a letter sent to MDP’s Council of Appellate Judges and Chairperson Hassan Latheef last week’s Wednesday – requesting to reconsider the decision to disqualify him from contesting in the National Council elections has gone unanswered.

“As the complaint letter I submitted to both MDP’s Elections Committee and the Council of Appellate Judges has not been attended to – today, I have submitted a complaint to the authority in charge of the oversight of political parties – Elections Commission – as the National Council elections are scheduled to be held within 30 days,” he had said.

Mahloof was disqualified from the elections citing that MDP had received a notice from Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) stating that there is a case against Mahloof lodged at the Commission – whereas an earlier decision by MDP’s National Executive Committee states that if an individual is named in a corruption case by any authority, they will not be eligible to compete in the National Council elections.

In his complaint letter – Mahloof stressed that the announcement publicized by MDP regarding the National Council elections does not state this a reason which could result in the disqualification of a candidate – whereas such a condition is also not specified in the party’s elections regulation.

He also added that MDP’s elections regulation stated that the eligibility requirements of a candidate contesting in the National Council elections must be specified in the announcement made to inform of the elections. In this regard, he stressed that the announcement publicized by MDP on April 25 pertaining to the National Council elections had not mentioned such a requirement. However, another announcement was publicized on April 27 which added requirements that were not mentioned in the previous announcement – which Mahloof believes goes against regulation.

Mahloof had applied to contest for the Presidency of North Province (Kaafu, Alifu Alifu, Alifu Dhaalu, and Vaavu) in the National Council elections in the capacity of a cabinet minister.

State Minister for Housing Akram Kamaluddin was also disqualified from contesting in the National Council elections. However, the decision was reconsidered on the request of Akram – following which it was decided that he will be allowed to contest.

Both Akram and Mahloof were named on the list of suspected beneficiaries of the MMPRC graft scandal compiled by the Corruption and Asset Recovery Commission.