MDP elects Hassan Latheef as new chairperson

MDP elects Hassan Latheef as new chairperson
February 12 09:29 2017

Hassan Latheef, a prominent lawyer and former minister, was elected as the chairperson of the Maldivian Democratic Party on Friday.

He received some 23,188 votes, according to preliminary results. Some 49,229 people were eligible to vote.

“I think this is a big responsibility. My biggest priority will be to reform the internal operations of the party with the advice of the leadership and the national council,” Latheef said.

The chairperson is responsible for administering the party.

The former youth minister and lead counsel for former President Mohamed Nasheed was the only candidate to stand for the post, which became vacant when Ali Waheed, who was charged with terrorism and lives in exile in the United Kingdom, resigned in November.

Waheed said he wanted to “make way for a person who lives in the Maldives.”

A spokesman for the party said some 150 of the 202 ballot boxes had been counted so far. The final results will be announced within the week.

Some 160 people voted no, and 56 votes were invalidated, according to the MDP.

Nasheed, who is currently in Colombo, Sri Lanka, voted there. The opposition leader also lives in exile in the United Kingdom. He sought asylum there when he was granted medical leave from prison, where he was serving a 13-year jail sentence on terrorism charges.

Nasheed in a tweet said that the turnout for the election was good. He also congratulated Latheef.

“With your leadership, the MDP will become stronger and ensure that Maldivians get what they deserve,” he said.

Waheed said: “I wish success and a prosperous future for the MDP under your chairperson-ship.”

Latheef had travelled across the Maldives during his campaign for the post.