The Maldivian Democratic Party should have primaries to elect its parliamentary candidates, former president Mohamed Nasheed declared Tuesday, after a public backlash to awarding tickets to a dozen unseated lawmakers.
Following a meeting with the MDP leader on Monday, some of the recently reinstated former ruling party lawmakers told the press they have been assured coalition tickets for the March 2019 elections.
All four partners of the MDP-led coalition have agreed to support their candidacies, former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom tweeted.
The news sparked an outcry on social media with many supporters denouncing the move as undemocratic.
“Internal democracy is very important for running MDP. Very few political parties in the world hold primaries to give tickets for parliament seats. MDP has experienced that this is both beneficial and damaging. Nonetheless, I think MDP tickets should still be awarded after a primary,” Nasheed tweeted Tuesday morning.
After defeating President Abdulla Yameen in September, the allied parties will also contest the parliamentary elections as a coalition, joint opposition spokesman Ahmed Mahloof tweeted.
It would be up to the parties to hold primaries when constituencies are allocated, the independent lawmaker added.
It is unclear if the parties have come to an understanding on dividing the 87 constituencies. The terms of the agreement between the coalition partners have not been made public.
Aside from the MDP and Gayoom’s breakaway faction of the outgoing ruling party, the other partners are the Jumhooree Party and religious conservative Adhaalath Party.
Gayoom joined forces with his rival Nasheed after an acrimonious dispute with his half-brother Yameen for control of the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives.
The dozen former PPM MPs were deemed to have lost their seats in July last year when they joined the opposition behind Gayoom.
We’ve not had chance to enjoy democracy long enough to be able to take some processes for granted. Political parties in countries that skip internal primaries have had the fortune of relying on democracy for centuries. We will get there. Until then, MDP will hold primaries. 👍🏽 https://t.co/VsqdkQq0Fh
— Eva Abdulla 🎈❓ (@evattey) November 6, 2018
This is unfair and undemocratic decision by Coalition. Give people choices. Let people decide their MPs by primaries and election. Coalition can’t force elect MPs against people’s right to elect their choice of candidate. Must change decision. https://t.co/wulPvzuZ8g
— Luke (@Lucasjalyl) November 5, 2018
Not the democracy I voted for. Hope the coalition would reconsider.
A politician should never shy away from a public vote. https://t.co/d5w9ssoLhk
— Mickail Naseem 🎈 (@MickailNaseem) November 5, 2018
The un-democratic & unfair decision by coalition leaders to give tickets to 12 MPs w/o a parimary means we will go after those 12. Don't get angry when we expose them and do anti-campaign. We should start 12 separate threads, one dedicated to each of 12 MPs & everyone contribute.
— Justice For Maldives (@MDVJustice) November 5, 2018
No one should be elected to Parl by a constituency just because they have served the party leadership well. They should be elected for their service to their constituency. Or else constituencies are reduced to a status subservient to their MPs rather than the other way round.
— Hamza Latheef (@HamzaLatheef) November 4, 2018
Maybe it’s time the public sees the papers of the full agreement signed by the coalition leaders.
— Mohamed Shuraih (@MohamedShuraih) November 5, 2018
Let them contest and win – if they lost the seat it would have been a different story .
Why only those 12 ? Why not for the rest of the MPs who tirelessly fought ?! All the MPP MPs were exemplary too . Why not for FARIS and Mahloof as well ? https://t.co/r6FtPPEQ8B
— Aishath Jennifer ⚖️ (@JenniferAishath) November 5, 2018
This blanket support for MPs regardless of how they have performed in the parliament & served their constituencies goes on to show that political leaders see these MPs as men who serve them. Not their constituency. #HakulhiPolitics https://t.co/OJArzNQcDa
— Sara Naseem 🎈 (@sara_naseem) November 5, 2018
Sorry, but 134,705 people voted to oust Yameen and to restore democracy. 4 coalition leaders cannot decide this. https://t.co/D6ekLHfwHx
— Hasanfutha (@hasanfutha) November 5, 2018
why the hell did we stand in line for hours and VOTE to get rid of an authoritarian government and bring back democracy? 🤦🏽♀️🤷🏽♀️🙄 https://t.co/uWXYHyo7Wn
— alifa rachey (@AlifaRachey) November 5, 2018