The Progressive Party of Maldives opened a campaign haruge (meeting hall) in Malé last night ahead of the June 6 by-election for the vacant Dhiggaru constituency parliament seat.
Former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s son, Faris Maumoon, is contesting the by-election as the ruling party candidate.
Speaking at last night’s rally, Gayoom reportedly said that increasing the number of PPM MPs is important for the government to fulfil its pledges and implements its policies.
Gayoom – also PPM leader – noted that the PPM has won the presidential and parliamentary elections as well as 90 percent of council by-elections due to its strong support among the public, but urged the party’s supporters and campaign workers not to take victory for granted.
In his remarks, Faris praised President Abdulla Yameen’s efforts to develop the Dhiggaru constituency as well as the rest of the country and thanked supporters working in his campaign.
The Elections Commission has brought forward the by-election for the vacant parliament seat for the Dhiggaru constituency to June 6.
The commission previously scheduled the election for June 13 after ruling party MP Ahmed Nazim was found guilty of defrauding the state of MVR1.4 million (US$91,400).
The Supreme Court sentenced Nazim to 25 years in prison on April 6, overturning lower court rulings that dismissed the corruption charges against the former deputy speaker of parliament.
The ruling Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) has invited interested candidates to seek the party’s ticket while the opposition alliance has said it will field a single candidate.
The opposition Maldivians Against Brutality coalition, made up of Adhaalath Party, Maldivian Democratic Party, and members of the Jumhooree Party, said they are holding discussions on fielding a single candidate against the PPM.
Adhaalath spokesperson Ali Zahir and a PPM member on the Meemu atoll council, Moosa Naseer, have expressed interest in standing for the vacant seat.