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President Muizzu’s political party secures supermajority in Maldives parliament polls

president muizzu’s political party secures supermajority in maldives parliament polls

New Delhi, Apr 22: In a striking turn of events, the political landscape of the Maldives has undergone a seismic shift, coinciding with New Delhi’s preoccupation with its national elections.


The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), once the dominant force in the Majlis, has ceded ground to the ruling People’s National Congress (PNC), which has clinched a commanding supermajority, securing around 69 seats in the parliament or Majlis.


According to the latest interim results, the PNC has emerged victorious with 69 seats in today’s election. This substantial majority, constituting three-fourths of the 93-seat parliament, grants the PNC a supermajority in the 20th People’s Majlis, giving them the authority to enact constitutional amendments.


Additionally, the coalition partners of the PNC, the Maldives National Party (MNP) and the Maldives Development Alliance (MDA), have secured seats in yesterday’s election, with the MNP securing one seat and the MDA claiming two.


In contrast, the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), which previously held 65 seats, has experienced a significant decline in its electoral performance, securing only 15 seats in this election cycle.


With more than 200,000 Maldivians exercising their democratic right, the parliamentary elections witnessed intense competition among 326 candidates vying for 93 seats in the next Majlis, including six newly introduced seats.


Initial results highlight the PNC’s resounding success, a dramatic reversal from previous electoral outcomes. In contrast, the 2019 elections saw the MDP commanding a supermajority, while the 2014 polls favoured the then-ruling PPM. The current surge in support for the PNC marks a significant political realignment in the Maldives.


In addition, five former cabinet ministers of the MDP administration also faced defeat, signalling a broader reconfiguration of political power dynamics. Meanwhile, stalwart parliamentarians, including Speaker Mohamed Aslam, faced unexpected losses, reflecting the political landscape change in Maldives.

Amidst this political turbulence, another development of considerable significance unfolded: former Maldivian leader Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom was acquitted of charges of money laundering and bribery by the High Court.

Yameen, known Pro-China and ant Indian leader was previously sentenced to 11 years in prison and had his conviction overturned, leading to his release and ordering a retrial in the case. This decision marks the second instance of judicial intervention in Yameen’s legal battles.

Yameen’s resurgence into the political arena and his vocal criticism of the current administration underline the evolving dynamics within the Maldivian political landscape. His departure from the ruling coalition and the formation of the People’s National Front (PNF) signal potential challenges for the present leadership, setting the stage for heightened political competition and intrigue in the archipelago nation.

In another development, New Delhi Implements Port Restrictions on Essential Commodities to the Maldives. In recent reports from local Maldivian newspapers, it has been revealed that New Delhi has imposed stringent port restrictions on the export of certain essential commodities to the Maldives. This decision comes following a notification from the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT).

Under the new policy, the export of essential commodities to the Maldives will now be channelled exclusively through four designated customs stations: Mundra Sea Port, Tuticorin Sea Port, Nhava Sheva Sea Port, and ICD Tughlakabad, as outlined in the DGFT notice. Previously, India had imposed export restrictions on nine commodities, including onions, potatoes, eggs, rice, and sugar, although exceptions were made under the ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy of the Indian government.

Since the 1981 agreement between India and the Maldives, which allowed for the export of essential commodities, the Maldives has consistently received the highest import quota for these items. Furthermore, India has recently augmented the export quota of construction materials to the Maldives by 25%, enabling the export of 1,000 metric tons.

In the wake of the ‘India Out’ campaign spearheaded by President Dr Mohamed Muizzu and the ruling coalition before assuming power, the current administration has actively sought to diminish its reliance on Indian government aid.