"By-election outcome shows the people are with the gov't"

The victory of the MDP candidate Ibrahim Shaaz in the Guraidhoo constituency by-election shows that the people of the constituency are with the government, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has said.

The Parliament's Guraidhoo seat became vacant following the death of MP Ibrahim Riza earlier in February. A by-election was held Saturday to elect a member to the seat, contested by MDP and opposing parties, PPM and MNP. Five ballot boxes were placed in constituency islands Guraidhoo (2), Maafushi (2), and Gulhi (1), and one ballot box was placed in Male' for constituents who resided in the capital.

Shaaz won the by-election with 1,346 votes after contesting against opposing PPM candidate Hussain Riza and MNP candidate Ali Arif. Riza received 1,226 votes, while Ali Arif received 122 votes. With Shaaz's victory, the number of MDP MPs will increase to 68.

Since the current Green Constitution came into effect, the Guraidhoo constituency has always favored PPM. Therefore, the government considers the MDP's victory in the by-election as a major victory.

Following Shaaz's victory, President Solih extended his congratulations to the candidate. He said the outcome of the by-election showed that the people of the constituency were with the current government.