Maldives electoral watchdog refuses to endorse ruling party congress

Maldives' electoral watchdog on Wednesday refused to endorse the ruling party congress which elected outgoing president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom as the new party leader on Friday.

Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) on Twitter had claimed that president Yameen who suffered a rather embarrassing defeat to the opposition alliance candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih in last week's presidential elections was voted in as the new leader unanimously by congress members.

However, the members of the Elections Commission during a sit-down on Wednesday refused to endorse the congress citing procedural violations.

The commission's decision means that president Yameen's election as the party leader would be void.

The party's last congress was held in 2013 to elect former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom as the party president. Gayoom however was unceremoniously ousted from the party after falling-out with his half brother Yameen and has since been jailed over the alleged plot to overthrow the government in February.

The Civil Court in 2016 found Gayoom guilty of violating the constitution, party charter and the political party law and handed-over party control to president Yameen.