Opposition coalition calls to postpone presidential election until Yameen is freed

The opposition coalition has called to postpone the presidential election until their leader and presidential candidate, Abdullah Yameen, receives justice in his ongoing legal case.

The former president is currently serving an 11-year sentence on money laundering and bribery convictions. Yameen's eligibility to run in the September election is contingent on a higher court overturning the lower court's decision. The opposition firmly asserts Yameen's innocence and remains optimistic that his name will appear on the ballot paper.

The opposition coalition's interim leader, Abdul Raheem Abdullah, said holding the presidential election while President Yameen is still in jail would compromise its fairness. He calls for justice to be served to President Yameen before proceeding with the election.

“I call for the postponement of the presidential election until justice is served to President Yameen,” Abdul Rageem said.

While the lower court's verdict has been appealed in the High Court, the court proceedings are at a standstill at this time as some judges overseeing the case are currently on leave.

The Election Commission will open applications for the presidential election on July 23. The deadline to submit candidacy papers is August 7. Therefore, President Yameen's chances of contesting the election are now severely limited.

The PPM-PNC coalition maintains their confidence that Yameen would be freed before the election and thus has not considered awarding their presidential ticket to another candidate. The opposition is considering filing Yameen's nomination papers to contest the election even if the court case is ongoing. However, the Election Commission is already saying the form will not be accepted as Yameen is currently serving his sentence.