MDP primary: Party leadership dominates amid few upsets

Main ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) primary for the upcoming parliamentary elections was held Friday serving very few upsets as the party's big hitters dominating the polls as expected.

The competitive primary saw 280 candidates contesting for 86 constituencies.

'Big-hitters' secure tickets

Former president Mohamed Nasheed took a step closer to parliament after securing the party ticket for the central-Machchangoalhi constituency.

The biggest surprise was that the de facto MDP leader's bid was not uncontested. Nasheed polled 267 votes to defeat his only challenger, Aishath Alaika Adnan, who received 52 votes in the election.

The trend largely followed with both the MDP chairperson Hassan Latheef and his deputy Ali Niyaz also securing tickets for the crunch elections in April. The only exception was MDP secretary general Anas Abdul Sattar who lost out to a former MDP lawmaker Mohamed Rasheed.

Mixed fortunes for sitting lawmakers

The evening's biggest upsets were arguably for current MPs with as many as five lawmakers missing out on tickets that dashed their hopes of re-election.

The other sitting MPs had an easier path to re-election hopes as they secured tickets after being unchallenged in the primary.