The chair of the Elections Commission has resigned, amid an ongoing dispute over the controversial removal of 12 parliamentarians and the failure to hold by-elections within the legally mandated time frame.
Ahmed Sulaiman told the Maldives Independent that he had sent in his resignation Wednesday but refused to comment on why he was quitting.
Sulaiman resigned at the behest of President Abdulla Yameen and is expected to be appointed to another independent institution soon, according to RaajjeTV.
Sulaiman was part of the governing council of Yameen’s breakaway party called the People’s Alliance, which was formed when Yameen fell out with his half-brother and former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom before the 2008 presidential polls.
Following Yameen’s presidential win in 2013, and after the Supreme Court controversially removed the EC’s chair and vice chair, Sulaiman was appointed as a member of the commission in December 2014.
During an island council by-election in Alifushi in Raa atoll, the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) accused Sulaiman of campaigning for the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM).
The MDP claimed that he was involved in door-to-door campaigning for the PPM. However, the EC denied any knowledge of wrongdoing.