Incumbents prevail in MDP primary

Eight of nine incumbent MPs who contested opposition Maldivian Democratic Party’s (MDP) Majlis primaries on Saturday have won the party ticket.

Sitting MP for Henveiru Dhekunu Hamid Abdul Ghafoor only gained 47 votes and lost the party ticket to Malé City Council member Mohamed ‘Rukuma’ Abdul Kareem who won 328 votes.

Of the 85 People’s Majlis constituencies, 27 MDP candidates won the party ticket uncontested. The MDP had initially scheduled voting for the remaining 58 constituencies on Friday, but cancelled polls for 56 after administrative and voter registry issues. Polling was completed in only two constituencies on Friday.

The MDP rescheduled polling for 18 constituencies – including 10 of the 13 Malé city constituencies – and is to hold voting for the remaining 38 constituencies this week.

In Malé City, MP and party Chairperson Reeko Moosa Manik competed against former Minister of Youth, Human Resources and Sports Hassan Latheef, and won the ticket for the Hulhuhenveiru constituency.

MP Mariya Ahmed Didi won against former Judicial Services Commission member Aisthath Velezinee with 249 votes. Velezinee gained 75 votes.

People’s Majlis Speaker Abdulla Shahid who currently represents Vaavu Atoll Keyodhoo constituency won the MDP’s ticket for Malé City’s Henveiru Uthuru constituency.

Malé MPs Eva Abdulla, Ali Azim, and Imthiyaz Fahmy won the MDP ticket without a primary.

In the atolls, MPs Rugiyya Ahmed, Mohamed Aslam, Ilyas Labeeb and Ahmed Hamza retained the party tickets for Mahibadhoo, Hithadhoo Uthuru, Hulhudhoo, and Bilehdhoo constituencies, respectively.

MP for Kaafu Atoll Thulusdhoo constituency Rozaina Adam won the party ticket for Addu Atoll Meedhoo constituency.

Non-incumbents who won the MDP primary are:

  • Malé City Council member Ibrahim Shujau for Galholhu Dhekunu in Malé
  • Former Housing Minister Mohamed Aslam for Maafannu Dhekunu in Malé
  • Malé City Council member Mohamed Falah for Maafannu Hulhangu in Malé
  • Former State Minister for Home Affairs Sheikh Hussein Rasheed for Vilimaafannu in Malé
  • Former MP Ibrahim ‘Ibra’ Ismail for Machangoalhi Dhekunu in Malé
  • Aishath Leena for Kulhudufushi Dhekunu in Haa Dhaal Atoll
  • Ibrahim Jihad for Meedhoo in Dhaalu Atoll

Leena is the wife of MP Ali Waheed and Jihad is MP Ahmed Hamza’s brother.

Speaking to Minivan News, MDP’s election committee chair Ibrahim Waheed said polling had proceeded smoothly on Saturday.

He claimed members of the ruling Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) had attempted to hijack the MDP’s primary on Friday, by disrupting the vote claiming their names were not on the party register.

Waheed said the MDP received 12,000 new membership forms between December 10 and 19 – the deadline for registering new members to vote in the MDP Majlis primary.

Of the 12,000, over 4,000 forms were members of parties belonging to the ruling coalition. The MDP believes the new members were added to manipulate the vote and had decided not to accept forms of individuals who are registered with other parties, Waheed said.

The MDP received 50 complaints regarding the voter registry, and resolved 11 of them, he said. The complaints do not affect the results, he added.