Mixed fortunes for pro-government parties in island council voting

There were mixed fortunes for government aligned parties in island council by-elections held yesterday in contrast to the national unity government’s success in simultaneous parliamentary polls.

In polls for the vacant seat on the Haa Dhaal Kumundhoo Island Council, PPM candidate Mohamed Shafy received 257 votes to beat MDP rival Aishath Hassan and the Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party’s (DRP) Abdul Hakeem. The polls saw the MDP lose its majority on the local council.

Hassan ultimately finished in second place having secured 164 votes, followed by Hakeem with 123.

In the Thaa Gaadhifushi Island Council contest, MDP candidate Mohamed Irushad won the seat, which is based in the Thimarafushi constituency, by securing 223 votes against PPM’s Hussein Ziyau.  PPM candidate Ziyau tallied 169 votes.

Though yesterday’s by-elections saw the first contest for parliamentary seats since the controversial transfer of power that bought President Mohamed Waheed Hassan to power in February, an island council by-election was held in Noonu Maafaru on March 17.

MDP candidate Abdulla Majid Ali took the Noonu Maafaru seat with 240 votes, winning by a margin of four against PPM candidate Muslih Mohamed, who tallied 236 votes.

The seat was previously held by a DRP councillor.

Five by-elections have now been successfully concluded since February 7, with the MDP telling local media today that it accepted that outcome of all recent local by-elections. The MDP’s position comes as the party pushes ahead with calls for early presidential elections.