The Elections Commission has opened submission for candidacy papers of those interested in contesting in the 2019 parliamentary elections.
The announcement was made at a special function held on Monday evening to inaugurate the redesigned logo and color of the commission.
Speaking at the ceremony, Commissioner of elections, Ahmed Shareef announced that the commission will begin accepting candidacy papers for the parliamentary election starting from Tuesday.
The elections for the 19th parliament has been scheduled to take place in April.
While the deadline granted by the commission to conduct party primaries for the parliamentary election expired today, only two parties have concluded their primaries to date. Main ruling party, Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), who will be contesting for 86 constituencies while coalition partner, Adaalath Party will be contesting for 13 constituencies. Both parties concluded their primaries within the last two weeks.
While the date granted for submission of candidacy papers for the primary of Jumhooree Party has already expired, the party is currently interviewing the candidates. Those interested in contesting on the ticket of Maumoon Reform Movement (MRM), headed by former president Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom are also currently being interviewed.
Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) has also stated that contestants representing the party will be taking pat in the parliamentary race, while newly formed sub-party, Peoples National Congress (PNC) will also be bringing out candidates. Newly registered Maldives Third-Way Democrats headed by jailed former Vice-President Ahmed Adeeb and Labour Party will also take part in the election.
Although it was previously believed that the four partners of the ruling coalition would contest both the parliamentary election and the local government election together, disputes between the party has led to some of the partners deciding to contest the elections separately. Therefore, the 2019 parliamentary election is expected to be highly competitive.