Elections Commission of the Maldives (EC) have confirmed that a total of 395 candidates will be contesting in the upcoming parliamentary polls.
In a press conference held on Saturday, Commissioner Ahmed Shareef said EC received 403 submissions to contest in the election before the deadline expired. Eight submissions were rejected while 395 applications were accepted, said Shareef. He did not disclose why the eight forms were rejected.
"Two applicants withdrew their names before we could inform them whether their application was accepted or rejected. Two applicants revised their applications and submitted it again after they were informed of the rejection of their application. One of the applicants who withdrew their name also re-submitted their application", informed Shareef.
71 candidates below the age of 35 will be competing in the election, out of which eight are women. 27 women and 305 men above the age of 35 will be contesting in the election, added the commissioner.
"A total of 35 women and 368 men will be contesting in the election. The number of women is significantly lower [than the number of men]", said Shareef.
The political affiliation of the candidates for the election are as follows:
Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) - 86
Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) - 5
Adhaalath Party (AP) - 9
Jumhooree Party (JP) - 41
Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) - 26
Maldivian Democratic Alliance (MDA) - 8
Maldives Thirdway Democrats (MTD) - 10
Maldives Labour and Social Democrats (MLSD) - 9
Peoples' National Congress (PNC) - 23
Independent candidates - 186
Shareef noted that although re-registration process for the parliamentary election has been initiated, only a handful of citizens have re-registered thus far compared to previous years. While over 80,000 citizens re-registered for the previous election, only 224 re-registration requests were made up to Thursday. The window for re-registration will close next Saturday.
The parliamentary election has been scheduled for the 7th of April.