Candidates from the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) have won all three by-elections held on Monday for vacant atoll and island council seats in Meemu Atoll Mulaku constituency, Faafu Atoll Bilehdhoo and Laamu Atoll Maabaidhoo.
According to provisional results from the Elections Commission (EC), PPM candidate Ali Ibrahim won the contest for the vacant Meemu Mulaku constituency atoll council seat with 677 votes (50.45 percent) against Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) candidate Ibrahim Latheef with 478 votes (35.6 percent).
Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) candidate Adam Hassan was placed third with 187 votes (13.93 percent).
In the February 2011 local council elections – which took place before the PPM was formed by the breakaway ‘Zaeem’ faction of the DRP – the then-opposition candidates Yousuf Sidqee and Zahira Mohamed from the DRP along with Ahmed Sulaiman from the People’s Alliance (PA) won the three atoll council seats for the Mulaku constituency with 949 votes, 736 votes and 855 votes respectively.
The fifth placed MDP candidate Mohamed Adil received 711 votes.
In May 2009, then-PA Leader Abdulla Yameen secured the Mulaku constituency parliamentary seat with 856 votes (45 percent).
Meanwhile, in Laamu Maabaidhoo, PPM candidate Hassan Adil won the vacant island council seat yesterday with 198 votes (43.52 percent) against Abdul Rasheed from the MDP who got 168 votes (36.92 percent) and Independent candidate Ahmed Shujau in third place with 89 votes (19.57 percent).
In February 2011, the five seats of the Maabaidhoo island council were won by two independent candidates and three DRP candidates.
While independent candidate Mariyam Didi came first with 283 votes, MDP candidate Ali Rasheed in 15th place received 81 votes.
The constituency including Maabadhoo was won by the PA in the parliamentary election. The then-minority opposition contested the parliamentary elections in a formal coalition with the DRP.
Meanwhile, independent candidate Shareef Idrees – who is a member of PPM – won yesterday’s by-election for a vacant seat in the Faafu Bilehdhoo island council with 342 votes (53.44 percent) against MDP candidate Ramzeena Afeef who got 298 votes (46.56 percent).
Four independent candidates and one MDP candidate were elected to the Bilehdhoo island council in February 2011.
In February 2011, the highest placed independent candidate Ali Saleem was elected with 390 votes while fifth placed MDP candidate Imran Rasheed received 309 votes.
In a by-election in November 2011 for a vacant atoll council seat for the Bilehdhoo constituency, MDP candidate Ibrahim Naeem came on top with 674 votes (53 percent) against Jumhoree Party contender Mohamed Musthafa, placed second with 539 votes (42 percent).
The former ruling party had won all three atoll council seats from the Bilehdhoo constituency in February 2011.
Moreover, MDP MP Ahmed Hamza represents the Bilehdhoo constituency in parliament.
Following yesterday’s results, PPM Spokesperson and MP Ahmed Mahloof noted that the party has won nine out of 12 by-elections held since its inception in October 2011.
Meanwhile, a by-election scheduled for Monday to elect a candidate for a vacant seat in the Alif Dhaal Dhidhoo island council was decided without a vote after only the Jumhoree Party (JP) fielded a candidate. The EC announced on October 1 that JP candidate Ahmed Niyaz had won the seat by default.
The turn-out in all three by-elections on Monday was relatively low compared to previous elections, with 55 percent in Mulaku, 82 percent in Bilehdhoo and 79 percent in Maabadhoo.
Of 2,441 eligible voters in the Mulaku constituency, 1,360 cast their ballots (18 were declared invalid).
In the island of Maabaidhoo in Laamu Atoll, 462 voters out of 661 eligible voters participated in the by-election. Seven votes were declared invalid.
In Bilehdhoo, out of 784 eligible voters, 650 citizens cast their ballots with ten declared invalid.