PNC wins Funadhoo council seat by default

Voters cast their ballots in a polling station in Male' during the 2024 parliamentary elections on April 21, 2024. (Sun Photo/Moosa Nadheem)

The main ruling People’s National Congress (PNC) has secured an additional seat at the Sh. Funadhoo Council.

Funadhoo had been scheduled to hold a by-election on June 8, to elect a female member to the islands’ council.

But on Sunday, the Elections Commission (EC) announced that PNC’s Aminath Yumna, a native of Funadhoo, had won the vacant seat by default, after no other candidates applied by the deadline.

The latest win comes after PNC won four out if six seats in the by-elections held on May 4, to elect members to vacancies in local councils.

The polling took place in six islands; HA. Thakandhoo, HA. Utheemu, N. Landhoo, N. Velidhoo, R. Innamaadhoo, and M. Maduvvari.

Voters in Thakandhoo and Innamaadhoo voted to elect a female member to the islands’ council, while voters in Maduvvari voted to elect a president to the island’s council.

The other three islands – Utheemu, Landhoo and Velidhoo – voted to elect general members to the council.

The main ruling party won four of the seats; in Utheemu, Thakandhoo, Velidhoo and Innamaadhoo.

Meanwhile, the main opposition MDP, secured the seat in Landhoo, while The Democrats secured the one in Maduvvari.

The latest by-elections came after the EC repeatedly expressed concern over the high resignation rate among members of local councils and women’s development committees.

In an earlier interview, EC’s chairman Fuad Thaufeeq said that three to four members resign from women’s development committees each month.

He voiced concern over the huge cost of holding frequent by-elections to replace the members.

In 2022, a bill was submitted to change the law to allow for by-elections for vacancies to be held once a year.

However, the legislature remains stymied in the Parliament.