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A presidential election in which Yameen cannot contest in will be rejected: Opposition

Malika Shahid
18 January 2023, MVT 16:39
Yameen being taken to prison -- Photo: Nishan Ali
Malika Shahid
18 January 2023, MVT 16:39

The opposition has said that they will not accept the validity of a presidential election where the opposition coalition leader and Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) presidential candidate Abdulla Yameen is not eligible to contest.

Last December, Yameen was sentenced to 11 years in prison in the MMPRC corruption scandal, for taking USD 1 million as bribes and laundering said money from former Felidhoo MP Yusuf Naeem in the Vaavu atoll Aarah lease case.

As long as the conviction of accepting bribes and money laundering through the lease transaction of Vaavu atoll Aarah remains in force, opposition leader Yameen will lose his chance to contest in the presidential election to be held in September 9.

However, the PPM-PNC coalition is is not willing to give up and believes that Yameen's name will be on the ballot paper.

At a press conference, PPM spokesperson Heena Waleed said that the "President Yameen 2023" conference to be held in Malé during February 2 to 4 is a very important part of the official campaign.

"Hopefully, President Yameen's name will be on the ballot paper. I don't believe that the election that this government is going to hold without President Yameen will be a fair and free election," -- Heena Waleed

The conference will be attended by opposition members of Parliament, party leadership, members of the party senate, constituency chairpersons and deputy chairpersons, women committee chairpersons and the steering committee chairperson including two other members, for a total of 1,500 members in participation. So far, 500 members have registered for the conference.

This, Heena said, is the biggest political event to be held in the Maldives.

She said one of the main purposes of the conference is to do everything possible to help Yameen win the presidential election. PPM said the activities are being conducted according to Yameen's plans.

Replying to a journalist's question, Heena said there was no question about the opposition coalition candidate.

The opposition coalition has condemned President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih's visits to various islands while the opposition leader is in jail. The opposition coalition said the validity of the presidential election would be ensured by holding an election involving Yameen.

Therefore, the coalition has called for Yameen to be given the opportunity to campaign for the presidential election.

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