Fuad: Highly probable Yameen’s candidacy will be accepted for election

Election Commission (EC)'s chairman Fuad Thaufeeq. (Sun Photo/Mohamed Hayyan)

Elections Commission’s (EC) President Fuad Thaufeeq has remarked that it is highly probable the candidacy of opposition PPM-PNC’s presidential candidate, former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom will be accepted if filed.

Questions have been raised about whether Yameen, the opposition coalition’s presidential candidate, can contest the election as he presently is serving an 11-year prison sentence for a money laundering and bribery conviction.

Speaking to Sun regarding the matter on Thursday, Fuad, noting Yameen has the opportunity to file his candidacy, said it is highly probable his application will be accepted.

Fuad reasoned that this was because the case was in the appeal process. He added that EC would seek legal advice regarding accepting the candidacy based on the circumstances at that time.

“Chances being there is extremely likely if the case is the appeal process. The Commission will make a decision after seeking legal advice based on the circumstances at that time,” he said.

Fuad also noted that EC’s decision can be appealed to the court if discontent with it.

He emphasized that accepting Yameen’s candidacy was highly probable based on a previous case where a former parliamentarian was allowed to contest an election as the appeal process was stalled.

Last date to submit candidacy for the presidential election is August 5th.

Yameen revised his appeal, as per the instruction of High Court, and resubmitted the petition to the court on Thursday.

Yameen was sentenced to 11 years in prison and fined USD 5 million on December 25, 2022, after he was found guilty of money laundering and bribery in connection to the sale of V. Aarah for resort development. The conviction was appealed to the High Court on February 12.