Governing Political Party Wins Majority in Maldives’ Election

The Maldives’ Election Commission released the results of the Parliamentary Elections held on April 21st, showing that the ruling People’s National Congress (PNC) and its allies won a majority of contested seats.

Election Results

The PNC won 66 seats, while its political allies, the Jumhoori Party (JP), the Maldives Development Alliance (MDP), the Maldives National Party (MNP), and PNC-endorsed independent candidates, won a total of eight seats. The government has a total of 74 seats out of the People’s Majlis’s 93 seats, giving it a super majority.

The Commission said that the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) only won 12 seats, while independent candidates not allied with either the MDP or the PNC won 11 seats. However, the Adhaalath Party, or the Democrats, led by former president and Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed, did not win any seats during the election.

According to political observers, the MDP performed poorly during the election, with several incumbent politicians losing their seats.

Graphic showing markup of Maldivian Parliament, the People’s Majlis, after People’s National Congress wins parliamentary elections (Photo: X, @editionmv)

Special Ceremony

The PNC held a special ceremony to celebrate winning the election at the Artificial Beach in the capital of Male. Senior officials from the PNC, MDA, MNP, independent candidates, and “other contributors to the win” attended the celebration along with several hundred supporters. President Mohamed Muizzu delivered a speech to the supporters, thanking the people for “the immense support they have shown.”

He said, “I want to tell our Ministers and government leaders that they are now going to have to make do without sleep.” He further said that he is “determined to bring about the development the people want.” However, he made an appeal for unity, “beseeching to cast away political differences and work together for the greater good of bringing peace, stability, and development to the nation.”

Muizzu also extended the call of unity to the political opposition, with him calling for “all political leaders and all parties to move forward and stand united despite political ideologies to bring development to the nation.” He then said that if “we [people and political opposition] move forward in unity, it will bring joy and contentment to all.”

He then said that the Maldives’ people will witness the day we all aspire to see, “strengthening the Islamic faith in our nation, enabling the next generation to grow up with values, unity, and a strong love for the nation.” Muizzu then said that he loves and respects all citizens in the country and that everyone is important to him, despite their political ideology. He said that the government hopes that when the next generation looks back, they will feel proud of the work his government completed for the Maldives, so we must begin with this objective.

Analysis

The PNC winning a parliamentary majority was likely due to its effective use of its messaging strategy. The win also shows that most voters want Muizzu to complete the promises he made during the presidential campaign, which gave him the legitimacy to do so. The messaging the PNC used highlighted how the MDP was preventing the PNC from enacting the promises Muizzu made during his presidential campaign. While some Muizzu delivered on some promises, such as the removal of all Indian military personnel in the country, he was unable to deliver on others due to the MDP having a parliamentary majority. For example, one of the major promises Muizzu made during his campaign was to increase the number of affordable apartments in the country. Muizzu’s government was unable to solve this issue due to the MDP having a majority in parliament and not wanting to compromise on the issue.

Furthermore, the president and the other PNC candidates also used comments made by MDP candidates against them during the campaign by showing that they [the MDP] were hindering any possibility of solving the issue. On March 30th, Muizzu accused the MDP leader and former president Ibrahim Mohammed Solih of lying when he pointed out that the government cannot hand out apartments because the MDP has a majority in parliament. Furthermore, he also used Solih’s comments against him by highlighting that the MDP is obstructing his government from enacting items from his presidential campaign. Muizzu also urged people to give him and the PNC another opportunity to deliver on his promise of fixing the lack of housing and other issues.

The MDP also had issues regarding how it ran its parliamentary campaign, especially how their leadership led the party during the campaign. Another issue the MDP encountered during the election was the party not changing its endorsement policies to make them more aligned with what the people wanted and using the same endorsement policies for their candidates. The lack of revamping their strategy led to the MDP highlighting the government’s use of land reclamation and other infrastructure projects for political gain. This particular strategy likely had the opposite effect on voters who are not affiliated with the MDP or its allies.

 

Joaquin Camarena
Joaquin Camarena
Joaquin the panda began Sino Talk in 2022 primarily to give an objective, unbiased view on China related topics as well as other issues related to the Indo-Pacific region. He spent several years studying and traveling throughout China and many countries in the Indo-Pacific region. In another life, the panda was also a U.S. Marine intelligence analyst who enjoyed bamboo MREs and drinking bourbon and soju. Indo-Pacific Division Desk Chief for Atlas News.

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