Local media reported on Wednesday that the candidate contesting for Male' mayor in the upcoming local council election from opposition Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) is former Minister of Housing Dr Mohamed Muizzu, while former President of Volleyball Association, Mohamed Latheef, secured the PPM ticket for Addu mayoral candidate.
According to daily newspaper Mihaaru, Muizzu submitted his application to the Elections Commission on Wednesday. The main opposition party will reportedly submit Latheef's form on Thursday.
Hithadhoo-born Latheef told Mihaaru that he requests the people of Addu to vote for him to bring about positive changes, since the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) "did not deliver results" despite being voted into Addu City Council for three terms with full majority.
Latheef, who is also the Manager of the national football team and club IFC established by Addu residents, guaranteed that he will serve the people with integrity.
According to Latheef, democracy's "check and balance" will be lost if ruling party representatives are elected for local council positions while they already have the full control of Parliament.
Noting that President Ibrahim Solih secured votes from Addu with a promising manifesto, Latheef vowed to do everything possible to ensure the implementation of the administration's pledges.
"With that, I will remain in the front row of holding the government accountable", he said.
Latheef's competition is MDP's Ali Nizar, who was formerly Central Hithadhoo's MP.
Meanwhile, former Secretary-General of MDP Anas Abdul Sattar is running for Male' City's mayor position on the ruling party's ticket. PPM's Muizzu will also be in competition with former Feydhoo MP Alhan Fahmy, contesting independently.
Muizzu applied for the mayoral position at a time when the Alternate Dispute Resolution Committee had filed a case to Maldives Police Service regarding Muizzu's involvement in breaching a contract signed with Noomadi Resorts and Residences Maldives.
President Solih's government accuses that the state's defence was weakened in Noomadi's arbitration case due to Muizzu modifying his former statement.
Some top officials of the current administration previously claimed that former minister Muizzu admitted that the state pulled the plug on Noomadi's projects in violation of the agreement. They also allege that Muizzu addressed a document to the arbitration firm stating that the agreements were annulled on the orders of then-President Abdulla Yameen.
Muizzu claims that these accusations are baseless and are being circulated for the sole purpose of preventing him from running for mayor.