Youth Minister Ahmed Mahloof, who is suspended from duty pending a judgement by the Prosecutor General on corruption charges, has been prevented from standing in the Maldivian Democratic Party’s (MDP) National Congress elections.
According to a letter delivered to Mahloof by MDP Secretary-General Shaazly Shafeeg, Mahloof did not match the qualifications to stand for the Presidency of North Province (Kaafu, Alifu Alifu, Alifu Dhaalu, and Vaavu) in the National Congress elections as a cabinet member.
The letter stated that a case against Mahloof had been filed with the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), emphasizing that the MDP’s National Executive Committee had already agreed that if an individual is involved in a corruption case by any authority, they will be ineligible to run in the elections.
Mahloof challenged the MDP’s decision, claiming that he is eligible to run in any election because no criminal allegations against him have been proven in court.
He went on to argue that denying him the ability to contest in the elections violates the MDP’s core ideals, as the party has always been a staunch supporter of democratic values.
On June 9, the ACC recommended that the PG Office charge Minister Mahloof in connection with the MMPRC corruption scandal. Since then, the PG Office has repeatedly requested additional papers relating to the case from the ACC, with no decision being rendered on the case to this day.
The ACC claimed that their investigation revealed that Mahloof, who was then acting as a legislator, received USD 33,000 in exchange for voting for the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) bill.
The commission is charging Mahloof with bribery and embezzlement under Article 2(A) of the Anti-Corruption Act, as well as presenting false information to an investigating authority under Article 521 of the Penal Code.