PPM candidate Mariyam Habeeb wins Nolhivaram Island Council by-election

Mariyam Habeeb has secured a seat on the island council of Nolhivaram in Haa Dhaalu Atoll in a by-election held today as a candidate for the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM).

Habeeb won the election with 434 votes, while Jumhoree Party (JP) rival Ismail Naseer coming in second place with 379 votes, according to local media.

PPM Spokesperson Ahmed Mahloof told Sun Online that today’s by-election victory was the 18th to be secured by the party since local councils were formed in February 2011.

Mahloof maintained that PPM’s record in council voting indicated the party would secure victory in next month’s scheduled presidential election, refuting claims of the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) that it will win during a first round of voting.


Separated husband snatches daughter and flees on speedboat

A husband who snatched his one year old daughter from his separated wife and fled on a speedboat to Nolhivaram was arrested on Friday.

The man, who separated from his wife and now lives on a different island, took the infant from her mother and fled on a speedboat from Kurinbi to Nolhivaram in Haa Dhaalu Atoll.

An islander told Minivan News that the man arrived at Kurinbi on Friday during prayers, while all the men were at the mosque.

He said that the man came along with a group of people.

”Some of the men stayed as his bodyguards,” the islander said. ”He came with two men and grabbed the baby while the baby was with its sister.”

The islander said the two men who came with father of the baby held the sister’s hand while father grabbed the child.

”The couple lived in Nolhivaram and the woman is a islander of Kurinbi – when they separated she came back to Kurinbi,” he said. ”It’s been five months now she has been trying to get divorced.”

An islander from Nolhivaram familiar with the matter said the man rented the speedboat and went to his wife’s island to try and bring his child back with him.

He claimed the women took the baby when she left without informing her husband.

”The father sometimes went  to Kurinbi to see his daughter, but his wife never showed her,” he said. ”So he went to Kurinbi and brought his daughter back.”

He said that the woman left Nolhivaram last year December.

”Her husband did not like her speaking to other people or going to other houses,” he said. ”She did not like it that way, that is why she left, as far I know.”

He said that the women had worked as a school teacher during her time on Nolhivaram.

”His family and everyone advised him not to take his daughter like that,” the islander said.