DRP wins seat majority, MDP cities in first local council election

The first local council election to be held in the Maldives has concluded with a clear seat majority for the opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) across islands and atolls, however the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) took the majority of seats for almost every major population centre.

Preliminary results show that MDP holds all but two council seats in Male’ and every seat in Addu, where an election was cleared to proceed after a last-minute Supreme Court decision the day before. Together these areas account for around 40 percent of the voting population of the Maldives.

As a result, both parties celebrated election victories in Male’ yesterday evening, with former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom headlining a “Welcome to Blue Maldives” rally at the artificial beach, while jubilant MDP supporters crowded into pickup trucks bedecked with yellow balloons, and drove around Male’ cheering before attending a rally at the MDP Haruge.

The Elections Commission (EC) is currently collating the results and should have final counts by 6pm this evening, which will allow an analysis of party preferences on a per-voter basis – a key indicator for the 2013 Presidential election. This is misleading to do with the raw ballot count, as those outside Male’ and Addu effectively voted twice – once for island council, once for atoll council.

Vice President of the Elections Commission, Ahmed Hassan Fayaz, said preliminary figures showed a 70 percent voter turnout across the country. Minivan News attended several polling stations across Male’ and noted the atmosphere to be orderly, cheerful and professional.

The EC has declared the elections free and fair, although it has acknowledged the validity of many complaints.

“There were some complaints of election observers campaigning [at the ballot box], and there were also complaints that even some election officials were showing an inclination towards a particular party,” Fayaz said.

Elections Commissioner Fuad Thaufeeq acknowledged to newspaper Haveeru that while the commission had searched for impartial elections officials, “we were not able to find the required amount of officials who do not belong to a political party.”

He also confirmed that the commission was investigating reports that officials had been threatened at some polling stations by elections observers, in an effort to influence the election.

Such incidents were sporadic, Fayaz said, however across the country the commission grappled with disgruntled ‘assistant’ voters, mostly friends and family members seeking to accompany elderly voters to the ballot box.

“We decided that only those who legally required assistance would be permitted to vote in this way, and that became a big issue,” Fayaz said.

“The problem is that the law says [votes can be assisted] only when a person has an illness or physical disability that leaves unable to use their hands. The culture and the practice has been for elderly voters to be assisted by friends and family, but this time we said no. It caused complaints because in the past people have been able to vote like this.”

Major disruption occurred on Kelaa in Haa Alif Atoll, an island of approximately 2200 people, when clashes between islanders, police and election officials forced authorities to evacuate the ballot box to Hanimadhoo.

“Officials were a little slow with the voting and as result of several small hiccups, we heard that there were too many people still waiting to vote (by the 4pm deadline),” Fayaz said.

“We said we did not mind if they stayed open until 8pm or even 10pm so that everybody could vote, but [the situation escalated]. I think one of the reasons was that the officials were not experienced in dealing with such situations,” he said.

Reports in Haveeru suggested that over 600 people may have been unable to vote after the polls closed on the island. Fayaz said the EC had counted the Kelaa votes and recorded interim results.

“So far we have not decided to hold a re-election, but we are ready to do so if a court rules this is required,” he said.

Election observers from the Commonwealth Secretariat are preparing a report on the election.

Political Affairs Officer Alison Pearman said she was unable to comment on the election as it was outside the mandate of the small team of observers, but said the report for the Secretary General would likely be passed to the Elections Commission.


20 thoughts on “DRP wins seat majority, MDP cities in first local council election”

  1. It seems all seats from the illiterate areas are won by DRP.
    As expected MDP won seats from areas who knows whats wrong and right. 😛

  2. Very true. Zaeems profile is accepted by the people who really dont know him. People who know him did not vote for DRP. By the educated youth of this country is going begging for well salaried jobs. At this election not so educated was voted in as a councellor with few votes and getting a fat salary. In countries of the world only the chair and the vice chair get nominal allowance. In Sri Lanka the Chair gets US$50/- We are so rich that we can afford to give every councellor a big salary and other benefits. "Think before you Leap"This is a proverb we should follow.

  3. @jungle, that is indeed a 'jungle' observation. you are calling most of the Maldivians illiterate and people who doesn't know right and wrong!learn to accept the voice of the people. whoever they might be, they are still Maldivians.

    CONGRATULATION TO ALL THOSE WHO WON A SEAT. Now the pledge from the people is to work together for the betterment of country, and not the parties. the power given to you all by the law is a lot, be fearful how you use it. with power come responsibility. you all will be questioned later.....

  4. @M.A

    why does a majority say cant be wrong? even majority can be wrong?

    what is wrong with saying most of maldivians are stupid?

  5. They will not be questioned. We don't hold anyone accountable! Instead MDP supporters will get every big government project and then they'll continue to be the most well financed party and patronage will continue.

  6. This is nonsense, Minivan news and MDP is trying to change the headline and still trying deceive people on lies.

    In a country there are usually 3 elections, the first one is presidential election thats where popular vote is important, thats where every one votes to elect single person. Second is parliament election where seats are important from province or atolls. Third is local government council again seats are important. No matter how popular you are and how many seats you won on highly populated areas it makes no difference in number of seats.

    The bottom line is last two election MDP has failed.

  7. here is the cry:
    - you can implement the best methods of governance, democracy with decentralized powers, with local councels taking care of their daairaa, BUT and its a big BUT, knowing few councellors personally from around the maldives who got elected, i say we are in for shit.
    be it DRP or MDP, does not really matter. people are people and most of these councellors have no idea what the system of governance is and what constitutes progress. needless to say most of them have no grasp on concepts like honesty, integrity, interest of society first etc etc. sorry to sound negative but it appears to be the truth.

    we have elected people in islands based on their popularity among people for whatever reason, be it party ticket or photogenic appearence like maumoon or family background. this is the same way we have elected MPs and presidents. HOw will they perform or what are the core values that drive them every day? never seems to be a question anyone cares to ask?
    is it community work, social progress in every possible way their motivating factor? is honesty and integrity their values and progress and betterment of future generations their goal?

    Once again George carlin comes to mind:

  8. This is a great step towards consolidating democracy in the Maldives. I am very happy that the whole process went without any problems. The issue in Kelaa is small, when put in perspective.
    Also, the opposition did not go around and accuse the election process, rather, they were happy and went about celebrating!
    This is great stuff and great day for Maldives!
    Personally, I do not think that this election data can be analysed to project the outcome of the 2013 Presidential Election! MDP and DRP will have to do a lot of work to convince a good majority to secure the Presidency.
    Other points that I observed in this election, are:
    1. It was peaceful and people worked hard for their party / candidates
    2. Results were announced as they were counted - not like in Gayyoom's days, when it took 3 - 4 days
    3. People have trust in the process - no major conflicts or unrest anywhere
    4. Everyone claimed victory - MDP / DRP (not the smaller parties!)
    5. Maldivians are getting good at the art of campaigning

    Good luck to all who won seats in either City, Atoll or Island councils! Work for the people!

    Democracy is here to stay in the Maldives!

  9. The only blemish on this election is the appearance of the old Dictator! In his usual lying ways he went around saying how good a democracy he installed whilst he was in power.

    It's sickening to see him with the likes of Umar Naseer! Do people really want to see these two in power? Whenever you look at a meeting of the Dictator you see the same old faces again. He wants to establish his family clan over the country and that's his ultimate goal.

  10. @M.A.
    Yeah I am calling most of the Maldivians illiterate..and here I am calling them again ..most of the seats won by Drp in the islands are where most illiterates live..Thats a fact and you cant change it weather you like it or not...People with literacy woundnt have voted to a party whos leadership is a mystery lol 😛

  11. count the percentage of votes mdp got from educated people. Most of them who know whats going on with mdp govnmnt didn't even bother to vote. they are fed up.there is nothing to be proud of.

  12. @jazz & jungle we have seen the so called literate adduans how this government has played with their heads like meedhaa key unbu, and the so called literate Male' people see the guys who has been slected to these seats you guys are worse

  13. Its a fact that in all the elections which MDP took part alone, they were defeated. The second round of Presidential election was won as an alliance. One of the main reasons MDP lost the Parliamentary and Local Council elections was that MDP forgot that they won the Presidency with the support of JP and DQP. The second reason is, Anni could not become a President of ALL the people, this probably was because of Party pressure. Like it or not its a fact and the results keep on repeating to prove it.

    Why do you think the President fought tooth and nail for Addu City? Its simple, they do not have 15-20 candidates who can win and if Addu had a local council chances are it would not have a majority to any party, with seats going to MDP,DRP and AP. He has taken a huge risk and I hope the 6 councilors perform, or they dont have DRP to put the blame on!

    I sincerely hope he will learn from this election and make some adjustments within the next 2 years. He has his downside, but I for one believe he is not corrupt, and deserves a second term. I would love to see a more nationalist side from him rather than the party side he continues to show. I believe once you take the job as the President, you have to put country first and party second.

  14. SAPPE
    ooops the oppostion is going around accusing the Election Commission.. Dude ure talking about cronies not people.....

  15. And the RAts of all Rats are the so called muslim adhaalaath party, for them now Religion is mere politics. and yes they say islam is a weapon against evil but they use it FOR evil not against it. thats why the bombs and the nails and backstabbing and the fatuwas'... adhaalaath has unveiled themselves, and guess what they the usual terror dealers...

  16. dont worry , but believe whats true. DRP has sweeped across the nation and yellow wanished. addu think the MDP will generate 2nd newyork there hahahaha pohhh

  17. Split in DRP is imminent now. Poor Thasmeen, first he had to cope with Umar Naseer now with Maumoon who wants credit for DRP win. Hope we are not seeing last few days of DRP.

  18. vaanuvaa ey kiyanee kameh vegenennu..mdp ah rayythun verikan dhineee moyakamun..anekaa aneh kolhun drp ah majlis ge majority dhinee moyakamun...mi ah mi comment kuranee ves hus moyain ma ves eyga himenigen lol..maa dhen politics vegen ulhey baeh mi dhivehin mee..furathama thimaa meehunge amilla ulhun rangalhu kobbala ehen meehunge goas kanthah dhakkaa iru..hurihaa enmmen farah dhaan v ..eyrun mikan vaaneee..anni ves maumoon ves isthiufaaa..mi dhemeehunnakee mi gaumuge halaaku..mi dhemehunge kibain gaumu salamaaiy kuravashi

  19. after 30 years of dictatorship maldivians are heading fair elections, last three elections are free & fair a 50 years citizants today experiencing the truth of freedom.
    Did a single voter find preventing to put his or her vote paper to the respective ballot box or force to put a plastic bage during last three elections?
    See the difference, the people got win not the rulers. today we maldivians are asuring self confidence to ourselves.
    But why we did not get this freedom 30 years before?
    are we getting the bonus of 2000 rufiya to 65 yers citizents before or after ex dictator out from his office?
    Is MDP a diesease (smalpox) on Maumoon's body?
    If a diesease on Maumoon skin (body) will effect every Maldivian citizents, do all of us should need get medical treatments?

  20. @ jazz
    True that majority could be wrong but it is also true that we should follow what the majority says, even if they are stupid. Plus, unlike the villages in India or US, people in Islands not far below than the people in Male' or Addu. If you look to the people of Addu, majority are drug edicts, and majority of Male' people doesn't even complete their 12th standard coz they think its useless as they get money by renting their house. On the other hand, if you look for the islands like l.kalhaidhoo, ha.dhiddhoo, Ga atoll... they are really educated. if anyone doubt it, check the statistic from higher education.


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