Maldives Voters Deliver Landslide Victory to President Mohamed Muizzu's Party in Parliamentary Elections

Maldives' pro-China party wins landslide victory, signaling shift away from India's influence in the strategically important Indian Ocean region.

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Nitish Verma
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Maldives President's Party Wins Landslide Victory, Signaling Shift Towards China

Maldives President's Party Wins Landslide Victory, Signaling Shift Towards China

In a landslide victory, Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu's political party, the People's National Congress (PNC), has secured 65 out of 93 seats in the parliamentary elections. This result is seen as a strong endorsement of Muizzu's pro-China foreign policy and signals a shift away from the Maldives' traditional partner, India. "The election outcome further strengthens Muizzu's position and his ability to pursue a more China-friendly foreign policy, potentially reducing India's influence in the strategically important Indian Ocean archipelago," according to political analysts.

The main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), led by former President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih who is seen as pro-India, suffered a significant defeat, winning only 15 seats compared to 65 in the previous parliament. Muizzu's election as president last year had already intensified the rivalry between India and China, as he took a pro-China stand and acted to remove Indian troops stationed on one of the Maldives' islets.

Why this matters: The Maldives' shift towards China has significant geopolitical implications in the Indian Ocean region, where global east-west shipping lanes pass the archipelago. The election results may accelerate the Maldives' move away from India and towards closer economic cooperation with China.

The PNC's victory gives Muizzu a strong mandate to pursue his agenda, including building thousands of apartments on reclaimed land and deepening economic ties with China. "The election was seen as a critical test for Muizzu's plans to deepen economic cooperation with China, a move that has been met with resistance from the outgoing pro-India MDP-dominated parliament," political observers noted.

The election saw a voter turnout of 72.9%, down from 82% in the previous election in 2019. The new parliament is expected to be in office from early May, and the formal ratification of the results is expected to take a week. The PNC's landslide victory marks a significant change from the 2019 elections, where the then-ruling MDP had secured a supermajority.

Key Takeaways

  • Maldives' pro-China party wins landslide victory in parliamentary elections
  • Outcome strengthens President Muizzu's position to pursue China-friendly policies
  • Defeat of pro-India opposition party signals Maldives' shift away from India
  • Election results may accelerate Maldives' economic cooperation with China
  • Voter turnout down from previous election, new parliament to take office in May