Shaaz takes oath as new Guraidhoo MP

Ibrahim Shaaz (L) takes his oath as the new Guraidhoo MP on April 24, 2023. (Photo/People's Majlis)

Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)’s candidate Ibrahim Shaaz, who won the K. Guraidhoo byelection two weeks back, has taken his oath of office.

The oath was administered by Supreme Court Justice Aisha Shujoon in a ceremony at the Parliament on Monday morning.

Shaaz joined Monday’s parliamentary sitting after the ceremony.

Opening the sitting, Parliament’s speaker, former president Mohamed Nasheed congratulated Shaaz and MDP on the election victory.

The main ruling MDP had won the by-election held on April 15 with 1,346 votes, beating the main opposition Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and Maldives National Party (MNP).

Shaaz’s main competitor had been PPM’s Hussain Riza, who won 1,266 votes. MNP’s Ali Arif trailed behind with 136 votes.

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.

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.

MDP’s win last weekend marks the first time the party has won the Guraidhoo seat since the new constitution came into effect. With the victory, MDP now has 68 seats at the Parliament. However, they are divided between members who support the government and those who support Nasheed. The majority is with President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.