Yameen instructs PNC to produce a candidate for elections

February 1, 2019: PPM-PNC sign coalition agreement. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Opposition Coalition’s leader, Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM)’s presidential candidate Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom has instructed People’s National Congress (PNC), a political party under the coalition, to produce a candidate for the upcoming presidential elections.

A reliable source confirmed to Sun that Yameen has requested the coalition’s leadership to nominate prospective candidates from PNC. Discussions, in this trajectory, are ongoing at PPM’s headquarters presently.

The former president who is PPM’s presidential candidate was sentenced to 11 years in prison by the Criminal Court after being found guilty of money laundering and bribery in connection to the sale of V. Aarah for tourism development on December 25th.

He signed his candidacy formed while in prison, while Dr. Mohamed Jameel Ahmed, his running mate in 2013, was appointed his running mate for this year’s election just yesterday.

Presently, PPM is undertaking final preparations to submit Yameen’s candidacy forms.

However, whether his candidacy form will be accepted or not by the Elections Commission (EC) remains a contentious issue, as the conviction disqualifies him as a candidate. The High Court appeal of his prison sentence presently remains stalled.

Therewith, Yameen has instructed to submit a form of a PNC candidate, as a backup, in case his form gets rejected.

PNC was a party formed as a backup when disagreements arose between Yameen and his half-brother Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom, both on the front lines of PPM at that time, ahead of the 2018’s election, in case Yameen loses control over PPM.

PNC’s led by former Fonadhoo MP Abdul Raheem Abdulla. Members of PNC also hold multiple seats in the parliament.