The full leadership of the opposition coalition, composed of the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and People’s National Congress (PNC), have applied to check their criminal record, as it remains undecided on a presidential candidate from the PNC.
The move comes after the Elections Commission (EC) rejected the candidacy of PPM’s leader and former Maldivian president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom due to his criminal conviction for money laundering and bribery.
Yameen has contested the EC’s decision with the Supreme Court, and has asked the coalition to produce a presidential candidate from PNC as a “backup.”
According to several credible sources, though Yameen has asked the PNC’s senate to pick a candidate, the leadership requested Yameen to make the decision himself again on Wednesday.
They believe Yameen will pick a candidate this time.
With the window for candidacy set to close on August 7, the coalition has decided to check the criminal records of all members of the PPM-PNC leadership, so as not to waste time.
Criminal record checks are a pre-requisite when contesting the presidential election.
Yameen was sentenced to 11 years in prison for money laundering and bribery in connection to the sale of V. Aarah for resort development on December 25, 2022.
The EC rejected Yameen’s candidacy due to his conviction, citing Article 109 (f) of the Constitution, which disqualifies candidates who have been sentenced to over 12 months in prison for a crime.