PPM indicates wish to produce a candidate apart from PNC

PPM's presidential candidate, former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom (L) and PNC's presidential candidate, Male' City Mayor Dr. Mohamed Muizzu (R). (Photo/Avas)

Opposition coalition’s Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) has indicated at Supreme Court on Friday night their intention to produce a candidate of their own, despite coalition partner People’s National Congress (PNC) awarding their presidential ticket to Male’ City Mayor Dr. Mohamed Muizzu, as a backup candidate for the coalition in case PPM’s initial presidential candidate, Yameen is unable to contest the elections.

Yameen was sentenced to 11 years in prison for money laundering and bribery in connection to the sale of V. Aarah for resort development on December 25, 2022.

The EC rejected Yameen’s candidacy due to his conviction, citing Article 109 (f) of the Constitution, which disqualifies candidates who have been sentenced to over 12 months in prison for a crime, unless it has been at least three years since they have completed their sentence or have been pardoned.

Yameen appealed EC’s decision to SC, in which requested the court to declare the decision erroneous. He has also requested a court order for additional time for PPM to produce another candidate, under circumstances he loses the appeal. 

Speaking at the Supreme Court as an intervening party to the appeal, PPM’s lawyer Husny Mubarak said the court has the last word on a candidate of PPM. He added that if the court does not make a decision on the case, PPM, under its articles of association, does not allow the opportunity to produce an additional candidate.

“This may lead to a circumstance where an election is held without a presidential candidate from PPM,” he added.

Justice Husnu Al Suood stopped the lawyer at this point and referenced the award of PNC’s presidential ticket to Muizzu.

In response, Husny stressed PPM and PNC are separate political parties. Therefore, he pointed out that PPM, under the Political Parties Act, has the right to produce a presidential candidate despite PNC’s producing their own candidate.

He also referred to a remark made by EC’s president Fuad Thaufeeq earlier, where he said an election without a candidate from PPM will not be a fair election.

Although there is an indication of PPM intends to produce its own candidate, the party’s leadership has yet to make an official comment on the matter.