Maldives bars convicts from contesting presidential primaries

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Male, May 21 (IANS) The Maldives Elections Commission has announced that anyone convicted of a criminal offence cannot legally contest in a political party’s presidential primary, warning that such elections will be annulled.

The Elections Commission made the declaration on Sunday in a notice concerning the presidential election slated for September, the Edition reported.

The Commission said only candidates that meet the prerequisites for President as per the Constitution would be allowed to run in primaries and it reminded the parties to abide by the island’s Constitution.

Following the announcement, former President Mohamed Nasheed, who formally applied to contest in the main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party’s presidential primary scheduled on May 30, had his candidacy rejected due to the terrorism charges against him.

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Nasheed was sentenced to 13 years in jail on terrorism charges over the arbitrary detention of a judge during his regime.

According to the Commission, individuals convicted of criminal offences were also banned from contesting in parties’ primaries. It warned that such candidacies would be deemed null and void.

–IANS

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