Mahloof eligible to contest in internal election: appellate council

Youth Minister Ahmed Mahloof will be able to contest in main-ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)'s national council elections, it has been decided.

MDP disqualified Mahloof from contesting in its national council elections, citing that he did not meet the requirements to compete in the elections. Mahloof then filed a complaint with the party's Elections Complaints Committee, which supported the party's decision to disqualify Mahloof. The committee said the requirements to contest in the national council elections state that a candidate must not be an individual against whom the Anti-Corruption Commission has requested action against, in connection to the MMPRC graft. However, the ACC has requested the Prosecutor General's Office to raise charges against Mahloof, which disqualifies Mahloof from contesting in the election, the committee's decision said.

Before the party's committee made a decision on the matter, Mahloof took his complaint to the Elections Commission. The commission said if there are any requirements for candidates to contest in a party's internal election, it must be listed in the party's charters. However, apart from being a member of MDP, no other requirements have been listed in the party charters registered with the Elections Commission, said EC.

Although the letter stating EC's decision did not give instructions on how to proceed with the matter, it clearly stated that the party's earlier decision on the matter was wrong. Despite this, MDP went ahead and published its final list of candidates without including Mahloof's name.

The party's council of appellate judges have now reviewed the matter and has decided that Mahloof will be able to contest in the election.