Ruling coalition partner, Jumhooree Party (JP) has awarded tickets for the upcoming parliamentary polls to 36 individuals.
The decision was made by party leader Gasim Ibrahim, to whom the JP congress on Wednesday night granted full sole authority to choose candidates of his choice to represent the party.
97 candidates expressed interest in contesting for the parliamentary election on JP tickets for 61 different constituencies. However, the party leader announced at the council meeting that the party will contest for 35 constituencies.
Among the 36 who were awarded tickets include former Acting Commissioner of Police, Abdulla Nawaz, former Youth Minister Iruthisham Adam and athlete Aminath Nazima.
Other notable individuals who received tickets include Colonel Mohamed Nazim and Alhan Fahmy,
Also awarded tickets were current JP members in the 18th parliament, including the 12 MPs who were disqualified from their seats by the Elections Commission for defecting from then ruling Progressive Party of Maldives.
A decision regarding the candidates for the remaining constituencies will be made within the week, while it has been revealed that all leadership members of the party including Gasim himself will be contesting in the elections.
The popularity of a candidate as well as their education and experience will be considered when choosing candidates, said Gasim.
The coalition parties had previously agreed to contest both the parliamentary election and the local council elections through the coalition in order to ensure maximum number of seats.
Main ruling party, Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) and JP remained at loggerheads over contesting the upcoming parliamentary elections through the same coalition which saw them win the presidential elections in November last year.
In an agreement signed between the coalition partners ahead of the presidential election last years, it was decided that MDP will contest for 35 seats while Jumhooree Party, Maumoon Reform Movement and Adhaalath Party will contest for 22, 17 and 13 seats respectively.
However, Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) decided at its National Council to contest for all 87 constituencies in the parliamentary election, despite the existing coalition agreement to divide up the seats among themselves, triggering dispute among the coalition.
The four leaders of the coalition have sat down several times with President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih in attempt to resolve the dispute. However, an agreement has not been reached thus far.
Therefore, JP has now decided to contest the primaries separate from MDP.