Mayor of Addu City loses MDP primary ticket

Addu City, Maldives (02 February, 2020)- The Mayor of Addu City Abdullah Sodiq (Sobe) has lost the chance to contest for another in the upcoming local council elections.

In a primary election held on 31st of January 2020 to allocate the ruling party, Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) ticket to contest in the council elections, Sobe lost to former Parliament Member of Hithadhoo Dhekunu constituency Ali Nizar with a staggering difference of 1532 votes. Sobe has since accepted defeat and congratulated Nizar on his win.

Nizar bagged himself 2801 votes while Sobe came second with 1269 votes. Ahmed Adhuham, president of MDP Addu wing only managed to gather 1016 votes.

Looking back at the terms of Sobe during the past 11 years, he was appointed as Atoll Councilor of Addu City in 2009, prior to the Decentralization Act. After that, the first local council election was held in the Maldives in 2010, following the introduction of the Decentralization Act to the country.

The law dictated that there would be 7 elected councillors in Addu City, out of which a mayor and deputy mayor would be elected by an internal vote among the councilors. As per this law, Sobe has been the mayor of Addu City for three terms, each of three years.

A new amendment brought to the Decentralization Act allows all citizens of the city to elect a mayor to represent them. Since the amendment being put into effect, the first local council election under this amendment is due to take place in 4th April 2020.

Many believe that it would be the MDP candidates who will secure all 13 council seats of Addu, given the high majority of MDP in the city. Since the introduction of democracy in to the Maldives, a vast majority of Addu has been MDP. Addu has always held the deciding vote in all major elections of the country, giving MDP a super majority almost always in the city, including the presidency, parliament and council.

However, questions are arising on how strong and how long the MDP’s solid foothold would last in Addu, considering that despite a total of 12,098 members (35.9% of the Addu population) being eligible to vote in this election, only 5086 voted.

How is the political atmosphere of Addu changing, the local council elections will tell.