The Supreme Court of the Maldives has officially accepted the appeal of former President Abdulla Yameen, who was rejected as a presidential candidate, stirring significant interest in the nation’s political landscape.
The main opposition coalition has chosen former President Yameen as their preferred candidate for the forthcoming presidential election. However, the Elections Commission of the Maldives (ECM) cited Article 109(f) of the Constitution, stating that Yameen does not currently meet the qualifications for presidential candidacy. The reason behind the rejection was his ongoing 11-year prison sentence for corruption and money laundering charges.
According to the Maldivian Constitution, an individual seeking to run for the presidency must not have been convicted of a criminal offense carrying a sentence exceeding 12 months, unless three years have elapsed since the completion of the sentence or pardon.
To address the eligibility dispute, the Elections General Act stipulates that any case concerning a candidate’s ineligibility can only be presented to the Supreme Court. The court will then deliberate on the matter and deliver a decision within seven days. Notably, the Constitution mandates that such cases must be resolved by a bench comprising all justices of the Supreme Court, and their decision is deemed final.
With the acceptance of Yameen’s appeal by the Supreme Court, the political climate in the Maldives has become charged with anticipation, awaiting the court’s verdict on this pivotal matter.
It is pertinent for all interested presidential candidates to be aware that the deadline for submitting candidacy applications to the ECM is rapidly approaching. According to the announced schedule, the ECM will halt the acceptance of candidates for the presidential election on August 7.