Three parties contest Guraidhoo by-election

Combined file photos of (from L-R) PPM's candidate Hussain Riza, MNP's candidate Ali Arif, and MDP's candidate Ibrahim Shaz.

Candidates from three political parties are contesting upcoming K. Guraidhoo parliamentary by-election, according to Elections Commission (EC).

The Guraidhoo by-election is set to be held on April 15.

EC’s vice chairman Ismail Habeeb said Tuesday that three political parties had applied for the election by the deadline; the main ruling party Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), the main opposition party Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), and Maldives National Party (MNP).

The Guraidhoo seat had fallen vacant with the death of MP Ibrahim Riza on February 23. He died at the age of 55 years in a hospital in Malaysia after a two-year-long battle with cancer.

MDP’s primary for the Guraidhoo by-election was won by Ibrahim Shaz – who serves as the party’s president for Guraidhoo constituency.

PPM’s candidate for the election is Riza’s brother, Hussain Riza.

Meanwhile, MNP’s candidate is Ali Arif – a former leading teacher at the Guraidhoo School.

Former vice president Ahmed Adeeb’s MTD had also expressed interest in contesting the election. However, they failed to file their candidacy by the deadline.

Riza had served at the Parliament for 13 consecutive years. He had been a member of multiple parliamentary committees, and also served as vice president of the Judicial Service Commission during former president Abdulla Yameen’s administration.

Riza had been elected to the Parliament as an independent candidate in 2009, before joining PPM.