Maldives Jailed Ex-President Abdulla Yameen, Barred from Elections, lost opportunity for Yameen’s Progressive Party -aug 6

Maldives court bars ex-leader Yameen from presidential election due to jail sentence. Elections, power dynamics, and political developments

The highest court in the Maldives ruled Sunday that jailed former leader Abdulla Yameen cannot be a candidate at next month’s presidential election. Yameen, 64, is serving an 11-year jail sentence after being convicted last December on corruption and money-laundering charges while president of the Indian Ocean archipelago nation best known for its upmarket beach tourist resorts.

A full bench of the seven-member Supreme Court upheld a decision by the independent Elections Commission to bar Yameen from standing in the September 9 vote. “The bench unanimously held that two constitutional provisions prohibit a criminal convict serving jail time from standing for public office,” a court official told reporters in the capital Male.

Yameen’s Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) had not nominated another candidate, hoping he could run from prison after appealing to the Supreme Court. The deadline to file nominations for the presidential poll was originally August 3 but was extended by four days to Monday. President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, who defeated Yameen in September 2018 polls, is standing for re-election.


Yameen’s PPM of maldives had hoped to mount a serious challenge to Solih but a party source told AFP on condition of anonymity that they might now back a proxy candidate.

At the height of his power, Yameen imprisoned or forced into exile political figures he considered a threat to his rule. He turned to China and borrowed heavily for infrastructure projects — angering India, the archipelago’s traditional benefactor.

New Delhi re-established its preeminence after Yameen’s defeat in 2018, pouring millions of dollars into building roads and bridges. Yameen had attempted to stay in office after his unexpected defeat in 2018 but was forced to step down following the threat of sanctions from Washington.


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