Main opposition party, Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), held its primary elections on Friday, in preparation for the upcoming local council elections scheduled for April.
Although members of the party leadership stated that matters related to the primaries ran smoothly, some candidates have come forward claiming electoral fraud, rejecting the outcome of the elections.
Former MP Ali Fazad, running for Fuvahmulah mayor, addressed a letter to PPM leader and former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, citing various issues with the election and its procedures that may have affected the outcome of the results.
Former MP Fazad accused that the election was rigged and fixed to elect particular candidates.
Fazad lost the PPM ticket to Ahmed Thoriq with a difference of over 200 votes. According to PPM's temporary results, Thoriq received a total of 892 votes while Fazad managed to secure 634.
In his letter, Fazad wrote that some voters cast their ballots twice at two polling stations, adding that similar events took place in other wards and capital Male'. Fazad further alleged that more ballot papers were issued than the number of individuals on the voters' list.
According to Fazad, 115 votes were cast at the polling stations in Male' in the names of people who have died, were abroad or registered to vote in Fuvahmulah.
Moreover, he alleged that the polling station in Male' halted the voting process every 30 minutes to amend the voters' list as well. In his letter, he requested PPM leader Yameen to nullify the results and arrange another election.
While Thoriq secured PPM's ticket for Fuvahmulah mayor, former Managing Director of Fenaka Corporation Mohamed Nimal won the ticket for Kaafu Atoll council after beating the incumbent council president Ibrahim Rauf.
Ahmed Nizam who contested in the PPM primaries for the Haa Alif Council ticket also rejected the primary results. In a Facebook post, he declared that he does not accept the election results of Dhidhdhoo, Ihavandhoo and Utheem, but did not disclose any details.
Voting for PPM's primary elections took place in 42 islands, excluding capital Male'. A total of 137 ballot boxes were placed across the country, while voting in the capital took place in Dharubaaruge.
The party had formerly stated that 1,000 candidates were representing PPM in the local council elections.
PPM's spokesperson Heena Waleed stated that PPM decided against holding primaries for Male' and Addu City council seats, as only a single candidate was contesting for each.