JP, MDP share spoils of island council by-elections

Candidates of the former ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) and government-aligned Jumhoree Party (JP) won by-elections yesterday for vacant seats in the island councils of Alif Dhaal Hagnameedhoo and Alif Alif Mathiveri.

JP and MDP candidates went head to head in both by-elections, which were not contested by other parties or independent candidates. While MDP candidate Ahmed Firaq won in Hagnameedhoo, JP candidate Ali Riza Mohamed emerged victorious in Mathiveri.

In Hagnameedhoo, Firaq won with 190 votes (52 percent) against JP contender Ibrahim Naseer Adam, who received 178 votes (48 percent).

JP’s Riza meanwhile won the Mathiveri council seat with 250 votes (54 percent) while MDP candidate Ali Risham came second with 212 votes (46 percent).

Following the victories, leaders of both parties congratulated the winning candidates. JP President Dr Ibrahim Didi expressed confidence in winning future elections and praised the party’s “strong” leadership as the main reason for the success.

MDP Chairperson ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik congratulated MDP’s winning candidate Firaq and expressed gratitude to Hagnaameedhoo islanders as well as the party members who worked in the campaign.

Yesterday’s result showed that “the people of Hagnameedhoo are opposed to the coup, have political foresight and make decisions wisely,” the Hulhu-Henveiru MP said.

Noting that MDP only received nine votes from Hagnameedhoo in the first round of the presidential election in 2008, Moosa said yesterday’s results represented the party’s growing strength and support.

The Mathiveri island council seat was vacated in November 2011 after a councillor elected on a Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) ticket quit the party. Under the Decentralisation Act, councillors who leave their party are stripped of their seats. The Hagnameedhoo seat was vacated after a councillor resigned due to poor health.

In the February 2011 council elections, four independent candidates and one JP candidate were elected for the five-member Hagnameedhoo island council while four DRP candidates and one MDP candidate were elected to the Mathiveri island council.

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MDP wins council by-elections

Candidates of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) won Saturday’s by-elections for two vacant seats of the Shaviyani atoll council and one seat of the Alif Alif Mathiveri island council.

According to provisional results announced by the Elections Commission (EC) last night, MDP candidates Abdulla Athif and Firaq Ibrahim won the two atoll council seats of Shaviyani Milandhoo constituency with 1,038 votes and 977 votes respectively.

Both Athif and Firaq were elected to the atoll council in the February 2011 elections but were dismissed by a resolution for ostensibly not attending seven consecutive council meetings.

In the Milandhoo constituency, Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) candidate Moosa Hussein Fulhu received 705 votes while Independent candidate Ahmed Rasheed got 619 votes.

Meanwhile in Alif Alif Mathiveri, MDP candidate Ismail Athif placed first with 253 votes followed by opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) candidate Moosa Hassan with 200 v0tes.

The island council seat had previously been held by the DRP. Yesterday’s win assures a majority of the five-member council to the ruling party.

The constituency of Alif Alif Mathiveri is represented in parliament by DRP MP Hussein Mohamed while the Shaviyani Milandhoo constituency is represented by MDP MP Ali Riza.

In separate statements yesterday, MDP President Dr Ibrahim Didi and Acting Chairperson ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik¬†congratulated the by-election winners and urged the councillors to “work as closely as possible with the government” to serve the public.

Official results are expected to be announced by the EC on Tuesday.

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