Muizzu signs to PNC to secure presidential ticket

Male' City Mayor Dr. Mohamed Muizzu Ahmed signs to People's National Congress (PNC). (Photo/PNC)

Male’ City Mayor Dr. Mohamed Muizzu, who presently serves as the deputy leader of Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), has signed to coalition partner, People’s National Congress (PNC).

Muizzu joined the party after PNC’s senate, earlier this morning, decided to produce their own candidate for the presidential elections, and opened applications for the party’s presidential ticket. The deadline for applications has been set at 2:00pm this afternoon.

PNC’s senate is scheduled to convene at 4:00pm this evening to vote on a candidate.

PPM’s leader 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.

However, Yameen signed his candidacy from behind bars, with assistance from Maldives Correctional Service.

Nevertheless, 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.

Although EC’s decision has been appealed to Supreme Court, Yameen has instructed PNC to produce its own presidential candidate as a backup.

The opposition PPM-PNC coalition’s leadership appealed to Yameen on three separate occasions to choose a candidate who will represent PNC. However, he refused to unilaterally make the decision and delegated the power to PNC’s senate.

Only Muizzu and PNC’s Parliamentary Group Leader Adam Shareef Umar have expressed interest to contest the elections on PNC’s ticket.