Nizar decides against contesting for Nilandhoo seat

South Hithadhoo MP Ali Nizar. (File Photo/People's Majlis)

South Hithadhoo MP Ali Nizar has revised his earlier decision to contest for the Nilandhoo constituency in the upcoming parliamentary elections as an independent candidate.

Ali Nizar, a member of Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), had originally attempted to run for re-election to his South Hithadhoo seat, but had lost in the primaries to the MDP’s district leader for South Hithadhoo, Ibrahim Nazil.

Many of the candidates defeated in primaries had applied to contest in the elections as independent candidates following Supreme Court’s decision to annul Article 10 of the Political Parties Act which disqualified candidates defeated in party primaries from contesting national elections.

Nizar, who had entertained the thought of running for the Nilandhoo constituency – a constituency which MDP is not contesting for – as an independent candidate, reported to ‘Sun’ this Monday that he will not be running for the Nilandhoo seat.

Nizar said he made the decision in light of the election result from the constituency in the presidential elections and discussions with his supporters.

“Assessment of the results show it’s not the best fit. And then there is the time constraint. I have been advised against it. I therefore have made the decision not to contest,” said Nizar.

The Nilandhoo constituency, during Presidential Elections 2018, was won by former Maldivian President and Leader of Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom.

The current parliamentary representative for the Nilandhoo constituency is PPM lawmaker Dr. Abdulla Khaleel – who is running for re-election as an independent candidate.

PPM’s candidate for the constituency is Abdul Muhsin Hameed (Jeypo) – Khaleel’s uncle.

Nizar, following his defeat in the MPD primaries, had expressed dissatisfaction with the primaries. He alleged that members of other political parties had joined MDP just ahead of the primaries to influence the vote.

Speaking to ‘Sun’ this Monday, Nizar said he was a firm believer in exercising the constitutional right to contest in elections, even if defeated in party primaries.

“I believe in upholding the legal right to contest elections. I believe [contesting in elections despite defeat in party primaries] is more of an ethical issue,” said Nizar.

Nizar said that though he will not be running in the elections, he will continue campaigning for MDP’s candidates.

While Nizar has decided against contesting the elections, two MDP members who suffered defeat in the primaries have already filed candidacy application to contest in the elections as independent candidates.

They are; Special Envoy to the President Abdulla Jabir who has applied for the Kaashidhoo constituency, and current South Henveyru MP Ali Nizar – who, following his defeat in the primaries, left MDP before applying for the elections as an independent candidate.