Preliminary hearing in Yameen’s candidacy case slated for tomorrow

PPM's Leader, former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom. (Sun Photo)

Supreme Court has scheduled the preliminary hearing in the case filed by the presidential candidate of Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom over the Elections Commission (EC)’s rejection of his candidacy form for the upcoming presidential elections.

Yameen’s running mate and head of his legal team, Dr. Mohamed Jameel Ahmed told Sun on Thursday that the preliminary hearing in the case has been scheduled for 2:30pm Friday afternoon by the Supreme Court.

The case was submitted to the court yesterday, which accepted the appeal later in the day.

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. His appeal of the conviction is ongoing at the High Court, but has been stalled. 

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.

However, there is legal debate regarding how the article is interpreted. The case submitted by Yameen, in the form of a constitutional appeal, claims the sentence stipulated in the article could be interpreted as a sentence, which has no further room for any appeal, or change. 

Nevertheless, Yameen has asked the People’s National Congress (PNC) – PPM’s coalition partner - to produce its own presidential candidate as a “backup”, in case he loses at Supreme Court.