President of the Elections Commission (EC), Ahmed Shareef, on Sunday, revealed that both candidates who contested in the 2018 presidential election had spent an equable sum on campaign expenses.
Speaking at an EC press conference, Shareef stated that former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom and incumbent President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih had spent comparable amounts on election expenses.
The Elections General Act obligates presidential candidates to present a financial report of campaign expenditure to the EC within 60 days of the election date.
According to EC president, both candidates submitted the financial report well before the deadline.
Shareef states that he could not reveal exact figures as the commission is currently verifying the information in the reports from auditors and financial representatives. The reports of both candidates will be publicized following the verification process.
Yameen is currently being investigated regarding a sum of MVR 22.5 million which was deposited into his account at the Maldives Islamic Bank (MIB) about two weeks before the presidential elections.
While the Election Act requires presidential candidates to maintain separate bank accounts for election-related expenses, Yameen did not formally provide any such details to EC.
Despite the mention of an account number on Yameen’s financial report, it is not known whether the two accounts are the same.
Yameen was summoned to the police headquarters on December 15 for questioning regarding the MVR 22.5 million deposit and a check of USD 1 million deposited into his account by Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC).
Following the questioning, Yameen spoke to the media, asserting that the MIB account was designated for campaign funds.
The former president's bank accounts which contain about MVR 100 million were frozen the previous day.