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Maldivian President Muizzu secures ‘supermajority’ in parliamentary polls: Report

According to preliminary results, PNC secured over 60 constituencies accounting for almost two-thirds of the parliament.

Edited By: Ashesh Mallick @asheshmallick07 Male Updated on: April 22, 2024 6:46 IST
Mohamed Muizzu, Maldivian parliamentary polls, Mohamed Muizzu wins polls
Image Source : AP (FILE) Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu

Maldivian President and pro-China politician Mohamed Muizzu on Sunday (April 21) secured a “supermajority” in the parliamentary elections by winning over 60 seats in the crucial polls which were being seen as a litmus test for him whose policies are being closely watched by both India and China.

According to information released by the Elections Commission, 207,693 people cast their ballots as of 5:00 pm local time, making for a voter turnout of 72.96 per cent. This includes 104,826 men and 102,867 women. A total of 284,663 people were eligible to vote to elect lawmakers for 93 constituencies in the 20th People's Majlis.

A total of 368 candidates were in the fray, including 130 independent candidates, 10 candidates from Jumhoory Party (JP), 39 from The Democrats, Maldives Development Alliance (MDA) 4, Adhaalath Party (AP) 4, and Maldives National Party (MNP) 2 nominees.

What do the Maldivian reports say?

According to a sun.mv news portal report, PNC contested on 90 constituencies, while the main Opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) fought on 89 constituencies. According to preliminary results, PNC secured over 60 constituencies accounting for almost two-thirds of the parliament, it said.

According to the trends, the Muizzu-led PNC won 67 seats, followed by Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) at 12 seats and Independents won 10 seats. Maldives Development Alliance (MDA) and Jumhooree Party (JP) got one each. The Democrats, Maldives National Party (MNP) and Adhaalath Party (AP) are yet to open their accounts.

The main ruling PNC won all cities across the Maldives, in what comes as a major loss to the main Opposition MDP, which had dominated the cities in previous elections. Preliminary results show that PNC secured the majority of the seats in Male’ City, Addu City and Fuvahmulah City.

The Democrats, founded by former President Mohamed Nasheed, and candidates endorsed by former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom have not secured any seats, according to media reports.

The election is crucial for Muizzu, seen as a pro-China politician, as just a few days ahead of the polls, the opposition parties demanded a probe and impeachment of the president following a leaked report of his alleged corruption from 2018, a charge dismissed by him.

Besides, since Muizzu came to office, lawmakers have blocked three of his nominees to the cabinet.

India-Maldives ties

The election in the Maldives also came amidst deteriorating ties between the archipelago nation and India since Muizzu, 45, assumed power in November last year.

During last year's presidential election, he had maintained a strident anti-India stand.

While India was forced to withdraw most of its military personnel manning three aviation platforms in the country, Muizzu travelled to China in January and met top Chinese leaders, including President Xi Jinping.

China and the Maldives also signed a defence cooperation agreement and several other infrastructure development projects.

The Maldives is India’s key maritime neighbour in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and occupies a special place in its initiatives like ‘SAGAR’ (Security and Growth for All in the Region) and the ‘Neighbourhood First Policy’ of the Indian government.

On the other hand, China is expanding its footprints in IOR through its 'debt trap' diplomacy and ‘String of Pearls' approach, a strategic initiative to create a network of military and commercial establishments in countries falling on the Indian Ocean.

(With PTI inputs)

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