Main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) declared that it will go ahead with the Local Council Elections coming April despite its Maldives United Opposition (MUO) partner Adhaalath Party’s decision to boycott the elections.
In spite of MUO’s decision to elect candidates for the Local Council Elections, Adhaalath Party had announced its boycott on Monday. The party accused the Elections Commission of disrupting the Maldives’ multiparty system and favouring the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) in their decisions. Adhaalath also claimed that the EC choosing to nullify the Local Council Elections, to be originally held January 14, and announcing a whole new election for April 8 is a means to award the local councils’ chairs to certain people.
MDP’s Vice President Mohamed Shifaz on Wednesday stated that MDP respects Adhaalath’s decision, saying that the objectives of the opposition coalition range beyond the local elections. MUO’s leader and self-exiled former Vice President Mohamed Jameel had also declared that there was no obligation on Adhaalath Party to compromise their independent decisions in any matter.
However, Shifaz proclaimed that MDP will proceed with the elections nonetheless, as it is linked to the rights of every individual.
Noting that MDP has completed preparations and elected hundreds of candidates via their primary, Shifaz said that withdrawing from the elections at this point will be an infringement on the rights of all the candidates prepared to run for the Local Council Elections with MDP’s electoral tickets.
“MDP will take even the smallest chance to participate in the elections. We will not lose ground even if everything is dictated by the whims of certain people [government],” he declared as he urged all the citizens to step up and vote in the elections.
MDP has been highly critical of the Elections Commissions’ handling of the Local Council Elections, which was postponed by a Civil Court order upon PPM filing a case requesting a delay as the party had been unable to complete preparations in time due to internal political conflicts. MDP is also fighting back against the EC’s decision to nullify the candidacy of 900 eligible candidates that applied for the original elections in January, declaring that they will take the matter to court.