Former president Mohamed Nasheed, on Tuesday, stated that Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) should hold primary elections prior to the parliamentary elections in order to elect a candidate for the party’s electoral ticket.
Nasheed took to Twitter to make the statement amidst debate within the coalition after the Elections Commision (EC) announced to reinstate the 12 disqualified lawmakers back at the parliament without holding primary elections.
Nasheed expressed that there was no need for an election to win over the seats that were lost after meeting with the 12 members on Monday.
Some of the members suggested that Nasheed gave assurance that he will act accordingly to win back the seats that were lost. However, Nasheed’s statement that was released Tuesday shows that MDP’s regulation is in favour of holding primary elections for the parliament seats.
Nasheed stated the democratic values within the party is a very important factor, proclaiming that very few political parties in the world conform to that rule when competing for parliamentary elections.
“This could be highly beneficial as well as harmful according to MDP’s experience so far. Even so MDP’s tickets to the parliament should be given after holding primary elections,” Nasheed said.
Some of the formerly unseated members expressed that they should not be competing in the primary elections for the next parliamentary elections after failing to represent their sectors for almost one and half years. They have presented this issue to the opposition leaders as they expressed their concerns with Nasheed’s decision.
However, it was only former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom that has stated so far that primary elections are not necessary for the upcoming parliamentary elections in March. According to his tweet on Monday, the coalition had already previously decided that they will do everything in their power to help those 12 members to remain in the parliament for another term. The majority of the members in question belong to Gaoom's party, Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM).
Many people across social media have expressed their views against giving parliamentary tickets without holding primary elections. They have also pronounced that competition is a necessary factor of democracy as one should not be able to contest for the parliament seats with a free ticket.