PPM refutes claims of influencing primary electoral tickets

PPM Elections Committee’s President Mohamed Rabih (C) speaks at press conference. PHOTO: NISHAN ALI/MIHAARU

PPM Elections Committee’s President Mohamed Rabih (C) speaks at press conference. PHOTO: NISHAN ALI/MIHAARU

President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s faction of the divided ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) refuted allegations of influencing the awarding of electoral tickets for party candidates to run for the upcoming Local Council Elections.

The president’s faction had stated earlier that candidates for PPM’s primary will be chosen based on a point system. Applicants must score 75 points and above to qualify for the primary.

Meanwhile, the allegations of biased influence in giving electoral tickets were made by PPM’s leader and Former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom in a statement. The former president claimed that several representatives of PPM were disqualified from the primary over lack of points, including long serving party members and those that had won previous local elections. Maumoon said he has received several complaints from hopeful candidates over disqualifications.

Mihaaru understands that the points are based on the length of PPM membership and capability of serving as a council member. Former council members are assessed on their performances as well.

“The allegations that we give points to PPM members on the parliament are false,” declared PPM Elections Committee’s President Mohamed Rabih.

“We did not deprive the chance [to run for the primary] to certain people under any circumstances.”

PPM members from 276 constituencies had applied to run in PPM’s primary, out of which primaries were held for only 64 constituencies. The party had granted its electoral tickets to 212 constituencies without a primary.

Rabih said the party is currently working to submit the candidacy forms of all constituencies to the Elections Commission. Currently, the party has submitted around 200 forms with 100 more to be submitted on Monday.

The Civil Court HAD delayed the Local Council Elections, originally scheduled for January 14, by two months after PPM filed a case seeking to postpone the elections, saying that it was unable to prepare for the elections in time due to internal political conflicts. The Elections Commission has announced the new elections to be held April 8.

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