Former ministers suffer defeat in Majlis elections

Combined file photos of (from L-R) Imran Abdulla, Aishath Nahula, Ibrahim Ameer and Ali Waheed.

Five candidates who served as cabinet ministers during the last MDP administration have suffered defeat in the parliamentary elections.

They are; Aishath Nahula, Ibrahim Ameer, Ali Waheed, Abdulla Ameen, and Imran Abdulla.

Aishath Nahula

Nahula, who served as transport minister from 2018-2023, ran for the South Hulhumale’ seat.

She serves as the Jumhoory Party (JP)’s deputy leader, and is one of 10 candidates to contest the elections on behalf of the party, including her husband Qasim Ibrahim – the party’s leader.

According to preliminary results, Nahula secured nine percent of the votes. Her competitor from MDP, Ahmed Shamheed, led the polls with 46 percent of the votes. Meanwhile, ruling PNC’s Shaaneez Hashim secured 32 percent of the votes. 

Ibrahim Ameer

Ameer, who served as finance minister from 2018-2023, ran for the Thulusdhoo seat.

He contested the elections on behalf of MDP.

As per the preliminary results, Ameer came in second with 28.16 percent of the votes, behind PNC’s candidate Ibrahim Naseem who secured 55.96 percent of the votes. 

Ali Waheed

Ali Waheed, who served as tourism minister from 2018-2020, ran for the South Kulhudhuffushi seat.

He contested the elections on behalf of MDP.

He had previously served in the Parliament as a representative for Thoddoo constituency from 2009-2014.

Ali Waheed was dismissed as Tourism Minister on July 9, 2020, after allegations that he sexually assaulted and harassed multiple female employees at the Tourism Ministry was brought to the attention of then-President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. He was initially asked to voluntarily resign, but was dismissed after he refused.

The Prosecutor General’s Office filed charged against him with the Criminal Court in November 2020. However, in February 2021, the court lifted a travel ban on him, after which he promptly left for the United Kingdom (UK).

The trial remained on hold for two years, until the case against him was dropped in July 2023, after the victims and witnesses in the case sent a letter to the PGO and the police, requesting the authorities to drop the case.

He returned to the Maldives the same month, and returned to active politics soon after.

Preliminary results show that Ali Waheed secured 43.8 percent of the votes – while the candidate who went onto win the seat, PNC’s Faruhath Mohamed secured 51.32 percent of the votes. 

Abdulla Ameen

Ameen, who served as health minister from 2018-2020, ran for the Ungoofaaru seat.

Like Ali Waheed, Ameen left his post under a cloud of controversy.

He resigned in October 2020, after he was implicated in corruption in the award of MVR 34.50 million contract to Dubai-based Executors General Trading to procure 75 ventilators for Covid-19 patients.

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) initially sought corruption charges against Ameen and 10 other government officials in the case, but later filed it citing lack of evidence.

While six candidates ran for Ameer’s constituency – he is the candidate with the second least number of votes with 2.58 percent. PNC’s Ibrahim Shifan who won the seat secured 47.5 percent of the votes. 

Imran Abdulla

Imran, who served as home minister from 2018-2023, ran for the Makunudhoo seat.

He serves as the leader of Adhaalath Party (AP), and is one of four candidates who contested the elections on behalf of the party.

Adam Shafeeg, the PNC candidate took Makunudhoo seat with 48 percent of the votes. Imran received 32 percent of the votes. 

Many long-serving parliamentarians also failed to defend their seats in Sunday’s election. They include incumbent Speaker Mohamed Aslam, representing North Hithadhoo constituency, who failed to win after four terms and North Galolhu MP, former deputy speaker Eva Abdulla who is currently serving a third term.