Several incumbent lawmakers from the main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) secured tickets in the party’s parliamentary primaries held on Saturday.

According to preliminary results of the primaries published by the party, prominent figures who have secured the party’s nomination include Abdulla Jabir, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Kaashidhoo; Mohamed ‘Bigey’ Rasheed, the MP for Alifushi and the MDP parliamentary group leader; Saud Hussain, the MP for Villingili; Mohamed Nashiz, the MP for Kimbidhoo; Abdul Gafoor Moosa, the MP for Hanimaadhoo; Ahmed Haleem, the MP for Bilehdhoo; Mohamed Abdulla Shafeeq, the MP for Velidhoo; and Ahmed Haroon, the MP for Manadhoo.

However, three incumbent lawmakers, namely Hussain Qasim, the MP for Keyodhoo; Rozaina Adam, the MP for Meedhoo, Addu City; and Ibrahim Shareef, the MP for Kelaa, faced defeat in the primaries.

The primaries also saw several newcomers secure party tickets. These include Nazra Naseem, spouse of the former Youth and Sports Minister Ahmed Mahloof; Moosa Ali Manik, the former Managing Director of the Road Development Corporation (RDC) under the previous MDP administration; and Ahmed ‘Maaz’ Saleem, who was the running mate of presidential candidate Umar Naseer in the 2023 presidential elections.

Naseem, also the sister of former Vice President Faisal Naseem, will contest for the South Fuvahmulah seat. Ali Manik will vie for the North Hulhumalé seat, while Saleem will compete for the West Henveiru constituency.

Muaz Jabir, son of MP Jabir, also emerged victorious in the primaries and will contest for the Mahibadhoo seat. Other notable candidates who secured wins in the primaries include Ali Waheed, the former chairperson of the MDP and Minister of Tourism under President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s administration, who will contest for the South Kulhudhuffushi seat. Zifleen Hassan, who served as a Minister of State in the Solih administration, will contest the South Thinadhoo seat.

Interim leader Solih congratulated the winners and urged those who were unsuccessful in the elections to unite with the winners and work towards the common goal of securing a majority in the upcoming parliamentary elections. He commended the MDP leadership and members for ensuring a peaceful and orderly election.

The MDP primaries attracted a field of 149 candidates across 40 constituencies. The party has stated that it intends to field candidates for all 93 seats in the parliamentary elections slated for 17 March. Forty-eight candidates had earlier secured their party tickets without contest.

Although no primary contests were held in five constituencies—Felidhoo, Nilandhoo, Eydhafushi, Thimarafushi, and North Fuvahmulah—the party plans to nominate candidates for these constituencies in the parliamentary elections.

The MDP primaries were conducted across 95 islands and Malé City, with the city hosting 27 ballot boxes. In total, the party placed 122 ballot boxes nationwide. 25,325 party members were eligible to vote in the primaries for the 40 open constituencies.