MP Hassan Latheef has been elected the new President of The Democrats, a political faction that broke away from the Maldives’ largest political party, the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP).

The internal elections saw a high turnout, with about 54% of the 5,834 registered members participating. Central Henveiru MP Ali Azim, who chaired the Election Committee, confirmed that 3,029 members voted. This participation rate, according to Azim, is the highest in recent times for an internal party election.

Latheef, previously the interim chairperson, won a clear majority with 1,804 votes, defeating his competitor, Hussain Amr, by approximately 500 votes. Amr, the former Managing Director of the State Trading Organization (STO), received 1,300 votes. The contest between the two was keenly observed due to their pivotal roles in establishing The Democrats.

The election process was marked by controversy. Initially, both candidates claimed victory, leading to confusion and tension within the party. The delay in announcing official results, which came almost 24 hours after the polls closed, raised concerns and allegations of result manipulation on social media. These claims, however, remained unverified.

The Democrats, officially recognised on 24 May, displayed a commendable performance in the recent presidential elections. Although they only secured 15,839 votes, the results placed the new party third in a race featuring eight candidates, all of whom ran independently without forming coalitions.