UN will push for Nasheed's candidacy, says Shaheed

The United Nations (UN) human rights committee would rule in favour of former president Mohamed Nasheed to ensure his candidacy in next year's presidential elections, former foreign minister Dr Ahmed Shaheed said insisted Tuesday.

Nasheed is presently ineligible to contest due to a 13-year prison sentence on a controversial terrorism charge. He was found guilty in early 2015 of ordering the arbitrary arrest and detention of a sitting judge. Nasheed was granted asylum in the UK in May 2016 after he was authorised to seek medical treatment in an internationally brokered deal.

Shaheed who now serves as the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief however said on Twitter that there was no doubt that UNHRC would declare Nasheed eligible to contest the elections next year.

Nasheed's ineligibility and in the face of mounting government authority, he had inked a historic pact with his arch nemesis former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and other opposition party leaders to put up a united bid to defeat president Yameen.

The now united opposition is now engaged in discussions to field a single candidate against president Yameen.