MALE, Maldives – The political turbulence surrounding the candidacy of former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom has reached a critical point. The Maldives' Supreme Court has delivered a unanimous verdict, upholding the Election Commission's (EC) refusal to allow Yameen's participation in the upcoming presidential election.
In a landmark case, all seven judges of the Supreme Court came together in agreement with the EC's initial decision, making it clear that Yameen's 11-year jail sentence stemming from money laundering charges renders him ineligible for the presidency. This resolution has put an end to the legal battles and debates surrounding the issue, confirming that the former president will not be on the ballot.
The Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), Yameen's representative party, had previously expressed their determination to take the issue to the highest court in the nation, voicing strong disagreement with the EC's decision. The party, along with a significant number of Yameen supporters, viewed the EC's refusal as a politically driven move that jeopardized the democratic essence of the Maldives. With the Supreme Court's clear verdict, these voices will have to come to terms with the outcome.
The ramifications of this decision are bound to be far-reaching, setting a clear precedent for the eligibility criteria of future presidential candidates in the Maldives. The coming weeks will be pivotal for the nation as parties finalize their candidates and gear up for the forthcoming electoral battle.