President Dr Mohamed Waheed has officially filed his candidacy with the Maldives Election Commission (EC) to stand in the upcoming presidential election.
President Waheed was joined by his running mate, Dhivehi Rayithunge Party (DRP) MP Ahmed Thasmeen Ali, as he submitted his candidacy forms to EC President Fuad Thaufeeq ahead of voting scheduled for September 7, his campaign team confirmed.
EC Vice President Ahmed Fayaz confirmed to Minivan News that the commission was now verifying the 2,000 signatures submitted by President Waheed backing his candidacy, before making a final decision on any approval.
“We would have announced his acceptance today, but he submitted 2,000 names that we will need to check,” he said.
Fayaz said it was possible the EC would make an official announcement concerning President’s Waheed candidacy tomorrow (July 22), once the signatures were verified.
Amidst the possibility of his Gaumee Ithihaad Party (GIP) facing dissolution for not having the 10,000 members required to officially register a political entity in the Maldives, President Waheed on Tuesday (July 16) announced his intention to stand for election as an independent candidate.
On Friday, President Waheed’s ‘Forward with the nation’ coalition announced he had obtained the 1,500 signatures required to register himself as an independent candidate.
Despite the recent defections of the government-aligned religious conservative Adhaalath Party (AP) and later the Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) from his coalition, the DRP said Friday that the incumbent’s campaign was “going to plan”.
According to Sun Online, the EC will decide on all candidacies within 48 hours of their paperwork being submitted.
Meanwhile, former President Nasheed filed his own candidacy papers with the EC on Thursday (July 18). His candidacy was approved later the same day, according to the EC.
Nasheed and the MDP maintain he was compelled to resign during a police and military mutiny on February 7, 2012. His successor and former vice-president, Dr Mohamed Waheed, maintain the succession was legitimate.
Fraudulent party enlistment allegations
Investigations are meanwhile underway into 46 cases of fraudulent political party enlistment filed by the EC, as well as another case individually lodged.
The fraudulent political party forms are said to include 15 signed to President Waheed’s GIP, five from his DRP running mate Thasmeen, and 27 from prominent businessman and MP Ahmed Siyam’s Maldives Democratic Alliance (MDA).
Some of the people signed up to the parties were alleged to already be deceased at the time of their registration.