Candidates face a two-year sentence if financial statements not provided: ECM

Candidates face a two-year sentence if financial statements not provided: ECM

Elections Commission of the Maldives (ECM) has revealed that candidates who contested for the 19th tenure of Parliament will face a two-year prison conviction if they do not submit their financial statement within the given deadline.

The commission’s member and spokesperson Ahmed Akram revealed that thus far, only 22 candidates have presented their financial statements out of the 386 candidates who had contested in the Parliamentary Elections held during April.

According to the General Elections Act, “a report relating to the financial matters of the election of the candidate should be prepared and submitted to the Elections Commission within 30 days from the date of election.”

The report in question must include details of all expenses incurred by the candidate in regards to the election, details of the manner in which contributions were acquired for said expenses, list of persons and the amount contributed to them as well as a bank account statement which shows all the transactions carried out from the elections account.

The only political party to have submitted financial statements even before the elections commences was main ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP). As such, all 85 candidates had submitted their financial statements even though there are no laws stating that candidates must submit financial statements prior to the elections.

Akram went on to reveal that the deadline for submitting financial statements is 12am, 28 April.

The General Elections Act states that candidates who go against the act faces prison sentences between six months to two years or a fine ranging between MVR 6,000 and MVR 24,000.