Supreme Court of Maldives has rejected the constitutional case filed by former President Abdulla Yameen's defense team seeking to secure his eligibility for the upcoming presidential election scheduled for September 9.
According to Yameen’s defense team on Saturday evening, concerns that the delays in his appeal case at the first appellate court are infringing upon several of his rights.
Yameen is currently serving an 11-year prison sentence for money laundering and graft convictions related to the lease of Vaavu atoll Aarah. As a result of this conviction, he is ineligible to run as a presidential candidate in the upcoming elections
The Supreme Court's Registrar cited the Judicature Act of the Maldives as the grounds for rejecting the case, stating that although it was submitted as a constitutional issue, it does not meet the criteria to be accepted as such.
Despite the initial rejection by the Supreme Court's Registrar, Yameen's defense team will have the right to appeal the decision in front of the Supreme Court judges.
Since Yameen's criminal conviction is impeding his eligibility to contend in the elections, his only option to become eligible is a successful acquittal in his High Court appeal trial.
Yameen's appeal is currently facing delays as one of the presiding judges in the case is on leave.
Elections Commission previously announced that the nomination window for candidates is open from July 23 until August 7, which further limits Yameen's chances of nominating for the elections considering the delays in his appeal trial.