Six presidential candidates submit financial statements

Candidates attend the 2023 presidential debate on September 2, 2023. (Photo/Vaguthu)

All candidates who contested the Maldivian presidential election in September, except for the two who went to the runoff, have submitted their financial statements, according to the Elections Commission (EC).

EC’s secretary-general Hassan Zakariyya said that the six candidates required to submit financial candidates by Wednesday, have done so.

They are:

  • Ilyas Labeeb (Democrats)
  • Qasim Ibrahim (Jumhoory Party)
  • Hassan Zameel (Independent)
  • Faris Maumoon (Independent)
  • Mohamed Nazim (Maldives National Party)
  • Umar Naseer (Independent)

Hassan said that the two candidates who ran in the runoff – Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)’s Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, the incumbent president, and People’s National Congress (PNC)’s candidate Dr. Mohamed Muizzu, the incoming president – are require to submit their financial statement by November 30.

Presidential candidates are required to disclose details of their election-related expenses, how they got the funding, and their bank account statements. They are also required to disclose information of individual donors, the exact donations, and receipts to prove the authenticity of the information.

Back in 2018, the EC said that the financial statements submitted by the two candidates who ran in the election that year – President Solih and then-President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom – had both spent around equally on their presidential campaigns.

But, EC’s chairman Fuad Thaufeeq said the financial statements of neither candidate had been complete.

The Elections Act prescribes the imposition of fines as the first course of action if candidates fail to submit their financial statements in accordance with the law.

More recently, EC fined candidates for failure to submit full financial statements during the Guraidhoo by-election held in April. The case was also submitted to the Prosecutor Generak’s Office.