Judgment next in Yameen’s candidacy case

A capture from the preliminary hearing of appeal submitted by PPM's presidential candidate, former president Abdulla Yameen Abdu Gayyoom over EC's rejection of his candidacy form.

Hearings in the constitutional case submitted to Supreme Court by PPM’s presidential candidate, former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom over Elections Commission (EC)’s rejection of his candidacy concluded late Friday night.

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 on Tuesday 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.

Yameen appealed EC’s decision to SC in the early morning of Wednesday, in which requested the court to declare the decision erroneous. He has also requested a court order for additional time for PPM to produce another candidate, under circumstances he loses the appeal. 

Hearings in the case commenced at 4:00pm on Friday evening, which continued till 11:20pm late Friday night. Four parties to the case, Yameen, the appellant, EC, the respondent and Attorney General’s Office and PPM as intervening parties, comprehensively presented their arguments throughout the hours.

While concluding the hearing, Chief Justice Muthasim Adnan, who chaired the bench presiding over the case, said an additional hearing will be held if the justices required further clarification on any matter. However, if not, he said deliverance of the judgment in the case will be next.

Although Yameen is fighting for his candidacy to be declared valid, he 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. 

The PPM-PNC leadership had asked Yameen to select a presidential candidate from PNC at his own discretion thrice. However, he declined the request all three times, leaving it to the senate to decide.

The senate decided to contest the upcoming election on Thursday and voted Male’ City Mayor Dr. Mohamed Muizzu as their candidate.