Ex-president Yameen unlikely to be able to vote as he as not re-registered

PPM's leader, former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom seen entering his vehicle. (Sun Photo/Mohamed Hayyan)

Sun, through reliable sources, can confirm that jailed opposition leader, former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom did not re-register to cast his vote at Maafushi Prison in the upcoming presidential elections which he was deemed ineligible to contest in. 

Re-registration to vote in a location that is not the voter’s registered location expired at 10:00pm on Saturday night.

Yameen’s registered to cast his vote at the second ballot box for North Manchangoalhi constituency which will be placed at Aminiyya School. The former president, who is serving a prison sentence at Maafushi Prison, will not be allowed to travel to Male’ City to cast his vote. Therewith, it is unlikely for him to be able to vote in the election. 

Maldives Correctional Service’s Spokesperson confirmed to Sun they made arrangements for prisoners who wished to re-register to complete the process. While ballot boxes will be placed in all prisons, no arrangements will be made for any prisoner to vote at another location.

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

Despite his imprisonment, he submitted his candidacy for the September 9 election last week, as the first candidate to do so.

The Elections Commission (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.

He contested the decision with the Supreme Court, which ruled on Sunday that the EC was right to declare the opposition leader ineligible to contest the election.

Following his unsuccessful attempt to have EC’s decision to reject his candidacy revoked, Yameen sent a note, instructing the PPM-PNC leadership to consider boycotting the election.

However, the leadership convened for an emergency meeting to discuss the instruction, and decided to put the matter to the vote of the joint senate.

The senate decided against boycotting the election with a vote of 67-45.

On Sunday night, Yameen communicated through his spouse, Fathimath Ibrahim that the opposition leader did not accept the senate’s decision.

PPM’s coalition partner, PNC’s candidate and Male’ City Mayor Dr. Mohamed Muizzu filed his candidacy with the EC on Monday morning. PNC decided to contest the election at Yameen’s instruction, as ‘back up’ in case he fails his Supreme Court bid.

Shortly after Muizzu filed his candidacy, Yameen’s head of legal team. Dr. Mohamed Jameel Ahmed announced that Yameen has decided to accept the senate’s decision.

“President Yameen has changed his mind in line with the decision of the senate. You have my full support,” he said.