Supreme Court asks EC to respond in Yameen’s candidacy rejection

Elections Commission (EC)'s chairman Fuad Thaufeeq (C) speaks to press on July 12, 2023. (Sun Photo/Mohamed Shathiu Abdulla)

The Supreme Court has instructed the Elections Commission (EC) to provide its response, after former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom contested the commission’s decision to reject his candidacy for the upcoming presidential election with the top court.

EC’s vice chairman Ismail Habeeb told Sun that the commission has been instructed to provide its response to the petition by 03:00 pm Thursday.

The Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) leader 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, unless it has been at least three years since they have completed their sentence or have been pardoned.

In addition to contesting EC’s decision with the Supreme Court, and Yameen has asked the People’s National Congress (PNC) – PPM’s coalition partner - to produce its own presidential candidate as a “backup.”