The opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) will officially launch its campaign for the upcoming parliamentary elections at an event scheduled to be held at the Malé Artificial Beach on Monday night.

The slogan for the MDP campaign for this year’s parliamentary elections is ‘Misraabu hama magah!‘, literally translating to ‘Steering towards the just path’.

The MDP will field 90 candidates in the 93-seat parliamentary race, with six women and 84 men having received the party tickets.

While the Elections Commission (EC) has scheduled parliamentary elections for 17 March, the Parliament, on 11 February, amended the General Elections Act effectively forcing the elections to be held 10 days after Ramadan. The amendment will come into force once the President ratifies the bill.

According to the Constitution, the president has 15 days to ratify a bill or send it back to Parliament — Monday will mark the end of the 15-day period.

If an amendment is sent back to Parliament without ratification and the amendment is then passed by a majority vote of the total number of members of Parliament, the bill, as per the Constitution, must be ratified by the President and published in the Government Gazette. However, the MDP has taken the position that President Mohamed Muizzu is working in a manner such that elections be held on 17 March.

The 2019 parliamentary elections saw 386 candidates contesting — with 43 women and 343 men. There are 368 candidates contesting the upcoming 2024 elections of which 42, or 11.41 percent, are women and 326, or 88.58 percent, are men.