Only those registered to MDP by end of year can contest in party primary

Main-ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has revealed that only members who are registered to the party by the end of the year can contest in the party primary to elect candidates for the upcoming local council elections.

A statement released by MDP Thursday said only members who join the party before January 1, 2020 can contest in the primary.

MDP currently has the largest membership of all political parties registered in the country. The party is expected to field the most number of candidates in the local council election slated for April 4, 2020 that will be electing 980 representatives to island, atoll and city councils.

While the party has not announced a date on which their primary will be held, several party members have already announced their intention to run in the primary, and commenced their campaigns.

923 councillors will be elected to island councils in next year's election. Elections Commission revealed that 372 of these seats are reserved for women as per the recently amended Decentralization Act which mandates for 33% of every council to be occupied by women.

While 179 council presidents will be elected, 18 people will be elected to each atoll council including council presidents, bringing the total number of representatives on atoll councils to 197.

36 councillors will be elected to city councils, out of which 12 seats will be reserved for women. The remaining 24 seats can be occupied by both men and women. A total of 39 members will be on the city council including three mayors.