Female representation drops, only 3 MPs elected

Independent candidate Anara Naeem, running for Huraa seat; PNC candidate Asma Rasheed, running for Central-Maafannu seat; and PNC candidate Asma Rasheed contending for Nilandhoo seat are the only female MPs to secure wins in this year's parliamentary election--

Female representation at the Maldives parliament drops for the 20th assembly, with only three female MPs securing seats.

Out of the 368 candidates contending in this year's parliamentary election, only 42 are female MPs. 

Preliminary results show only independent candidate Anara Naeem running for Huraa seat, PNC candidate Asma Rasheed contending for Central-Maafannu seat, and Fathimath Saudha running for Nilandhoo, as the only three female lawmakers to take lead in their respective constituencies.

Asma, who repesented Central-Maafannu at the 18th parliament assembly, has secured 725 votes while her opponent, MDP's candidate Ahmed Amir received 401 votes.

Saudha, who is the younger sister of President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu, secured 66 percent votes from her constituency while her opponent, independent candidate Ahmed Rasheed secured 33 percent votes.

While Anara secured 48.71 percent votes from her constituency, her closest competitor, PNC candidate Abdulla Waris received 29.84 percent votes.

A total of 13 female candidates from The Democrats competed in this year's parliamentary election, making it the most number of female candidates to compete from a political party. The party however, did not secure a single seat as per the preliminary results.

Only four female candidates represented MDP in the recently concluded assembly, which included former Vice Speaker Eva Abdulla, Meedhoo constituency MP Rozaina Adam, Hinnavaru MP Jeehan Mahmood, and Thulhaadhoo MP Hisan Hussain.

Both Jeehan and Eva, who contended in this year's election, had lost their respective seats.

While female representation has dropped for the 20th parliament assembly, President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu earlier pledged to make efforts to increase the number of female MPs in the parliament.

President Muizzu further promised to provide a special allowance for the female MPs elected through PPM and PNC tickets. He also stressed one-third of the members should be females in an ideal composition of the parliament.

From PNC, only two female candidates contended in the parliamentary election which are Saudha and Asma.