Opposition to field single candidate for vacant Majlis seat

The opposition coalition is holding talks to field a single candidate for a vacant parliament seat after the incumbent MP was sentenced to life in jail on corruption charges.

The Elections Commission has scheduled the by-election for the Dhiggaru constituency for June 13. The call for applications will be open from April 15 – 25.

Though the “Maldivians Against Brutality” coalition is made up of parties with vastly different ideologies, they are confident of fielding a single candidate against the ruling Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM).

Former PPM partners, the Adhaalath Party and the Jumhooree Party, allied with the main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party following what they called a government crackdown on opposition politicians including former President Mohamed Nasheed and former defence minister Mohamed Nazim.

The two were sentenced last month to 13 years and 11 years in jail for terrorism and weapons smuggling, respectively.

Meanwhile, JP leader Gasim Ibrahim is facing a US$100million fine that may bankrupt his Villa Group.

Adhaalath spokesperson Ali Zahir and a PPM councilor for of Meemu atoll council Moosa Naseer have expressed interest in standing for the vacant seat.

The former Dhiggaru MP Ahmed Nazim lost his seat on Monday after the Supreme Court convicted him of defrauding the former atolls ministry.

Ex-MP Nazim, a former deputy speaker of the Peoples Majlis was convicted of defrauding the state of MVR 1.4 million (US $91,400) by submitting bids on behalf of non-existent companies to supply 15,000 national flags to the now-defunct atolls ministry.