The government’s coalition announced on Sunday that it had finished dividing seats for the upcoming parliamentary elections between the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), the Maldives Development Alliance (MDA), and the Jumhooree Party (JP).
According to the coalition, the PPM will be contesting in 49 areas, the JP in 28, and the MDA in 8.
PPM Deputy Leader Abdul Raheem stated that the division had gone according to the initial agreements made within the coalition during the presidential election.
He acknowledged that the parties had failed to get some of the seats that they requested, but affirmed that all seats had been allocated after much deliberation between party leaders.
He stated that special attention had been given to parties with incumbent parliamentarians in order that they could hold on to those constituencies.
“The areas have been decided upon as per the agreement of all three parties. To be honest, there wasn’t much debate. Everyone took care to make decisions in a manner that had least negative affect on the coalition, and would assist in getting us the most number of seats,” he is quoted as saying in local media.
Raheem had his phone switched off at the time of press.
Parties free to give seats to Adhaalath: PPM
The ruling party stated that, while religious conservative Adhaalath Party (AP) was excluded from the coalition’s Majlis plan, the parties are free to give the AP seats from those allocated to them.
Abdul Raheem informed local media that coalition parties will discuss the matter in the near future.
“In reality, Adhaalath is not an official part of this Progressive Coalition. So the parties’ idea is to give them what we can from the seats which have been allocated to us,” he stated.
He further stated that Adhaalath had made some requests of the coalition, adding that all of them cannot be fulfilled. He declined from providing details of the request.
“As far as I am aware, JP is considering giving some seats to the AP. The number of seats, or from where, has not been decided yet,” JP Secretary General Hassan Shah told Minivan News today.
JP acting secretary general Dr Mohamed Saud said that he was unable to talk at the time of press.
Adhaalath hopeful of inclusion
The Adhaalath Party, which has previously raised concerns of being excluded from the coalition’s plans, remained hopeful of inclusion – even if via separate parties in the coalition.
“We are still in the hope that the coalition will give us some seats. Now, it is true that we are not an official partner that joined the coalition under share agreements like the JP did. So it cannot be termed as contesting via a separate coalition party even if it is not the full coalition that is giving us seats,” AP Spokesperson Ali Zahir said.
“Of course, there is a limit to what we will accept. If it is way below expectations, then we will not accept it and will proceed to contest separately. I am hopeful that a reasonable solution can be found. We will only know this once the discussions are set into motion,” he explained.
The AP has previously announced that it has members possessing masters or doctorate level qualifications interested in running in 32 different constituencies.