Afshan speaks at a meeting of The Democrats on Wednesday, 24 May 2023. Dhauru Photo/ Hussain Sunain

Nashed's The Democrats says preparing for pres election

"But for us, I don't think there is any restriction on following the EC's timeline as you said."

25 May 2023

By Mohamed Muzayyin Nazim

Ruling MDP president Mohamed Nasheed's loyalists, after obtain permission from the Elections Commission for the formation of their new The Democrats party on Wednesday, said the party would complete registration by the time the commission opens nominations for the September 9 presidential election. 

Elections Commission has earlier said that nominations will be accepted from July 23 to August 3. 

The Democrats, led by speaker Nasheed, had applied for permission to form the party on Sunday. The commission handed over a letter of approval to Henveiru West MP Hassan Latheef, to form the party. This was followed by a press conference at H. Maizandhoshuge.

Replying to a question from Atoll Times at the press conference, spokesperson Afshan Latheef said that the required 3,000 membership forms will be submitted to the commission. She said she believed that the formalities for the formation of the party would be completed and the candidature could also be submitted before the commission's deadline for the presidential election nominations. 

"As you said, the time is too short. Going by the timeline set by [the commission], we have that time," Afshan said.

Afshan, who stepped down as the Local Government Authority (LGA) CEO last week to form the party, said she believed that while there was time, there was a lot of work to be done.

"Forming a new party to contest (in the presidential elections), you should know we have started a mammoth task," Afshan said.

"But for us, I don't think there is any restriction on following the EC's timeline as you said."

The timeline set by the Elections Commission for the presidential election:

  • Publicising the voters' registry - May 2 

  • Filing complaints on voters' list - 30 days (deadline on June 2) 

  • Re-registration – July 16 to August 5 

  • Filing of nominations - July 23 to August 3 

  • Sorting out the names of the candidates - August 9 

  • Campaigning – August 10-September 8 

  • Runoff, if need be - September 30

Afshan said that with the process of submitting the required 3,000 membership forms, preparations for the presidential elections will also go on. This includes working on drafting the party's charter and manifesto, she said.

Afshan added at the press conference:

  • Condemns the start of efforts to remove Eva Abdulla as deputy speaker of parliament

  • Described it as an impediment to the progress of women