Maldives' electoral watchdog on Sunday effectively rejected the candidacy of self-exiled former president Mohamed Nasheed in the upcoming main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) presidential primary.
Nasheed lives in self imposed exile most recently in Sri Lanka after he was allowed to leave to the UK on medical leave in an internationally brokered deal following his jailing on terrorism charges.
Nasheed's 13 year prison sentence rules him out of the elections in September. But the ex-president is set to contest the MDP primary on May 30 unchallenged.
Elections Commission in a statement warned to reject the results of any primary held with candidates who do not meet the qualifications prescribed in the constitution.
The commission had also reminded the parties to abide by the constitution and the relevant party and election laws when holding primaries for the upcoming presidential elections.
The statement also asked parties to inform the commission of the primary candidates three days prior to holding their respective primaries, which it said must be held before July 1.
Nasheed meanwhile had announced plans to establish a unity government with the other political leaders.
The main opposition leaders including former presidents Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and Nasheed along with Jumhoory Party (JP) leader Gasim Ibrahim and religiously conservative Adhaalath Party (AP) leader Sheikh Imran Abdulla inked pact to form what they called a 'reform alliance'.
With the candidacy of the four leaders - all convicted and serving sentences on questionable charges in serious doubt, the united opposition had announced plans to nominate a single candidate for the upcoming presidential elections.