Maldives top court bars former president from contesting election

Maldives top court bars former president from contesting election

Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom is serving 11 years in jail after he was convicted on corruption and money-laundering charges

By Anadolu staff

The Supreme Court of Maldives on Sunday ruled that the incarcerated former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom cannot run in the presidential election scheduled for September this year.

The unanimous verdict, which is seen as another setback for Yameen's Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), came on a petition the former president filed against the country's top election body that rejected his candidacy for the upcoming presidential election, according to the Maldives News Network.

According to the Election Commission, the rejection of Yameen's candidacy was made due to the fact that he is serving an 11-year jail sentence.

Reading the verdict, Justice Husnu Al Suood said that Yameen does not meet the eligibility conditions stipulated under Article 109 of the Constitution. The full bench of the court agreed with Suood’s ruling.

Yameen, the leader of the main opposition PPM, was sentenced to 11 years in prison on money laundering and bribery charges in December 2022.

Despite his imprisonment, he submitted his candidacy for the Sept. 9 election last week.

The EC rejected Yameen’s candidacy based on two main factors; his criminal conviction, and his failure to settle the fine he was ordered to pay as part of his sentence.

The PPM is expected to announce its new presidential candidate soon.

The refusal of Yameen's candidacy has ignited political tension in the Maldives. Supporters of the former president are voicing their displeasure over what they view as a politically motivated decision.

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