PNC Wins Supermajority in Maldives Parliament, Securing Over 60 Seats

Maldives' pro-China party wins supermajority, raising concerns over India's influence in the region and Muizzu's plans to realign diplomacy towards China.

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PNC Wins Supermajority in Maldives Parliament, Securing Over 60 Seats

PNC Wins Supermajority in Maldives Parliament, Securing Over 60 Seats

The People's National Congress (PNC) party led by Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu, has won a supermajority in the Maldives Parliament, securing over 60 seats in the April 2024 election. The PNC contested for 90 constituencies and bagged 67 seats, according to preliminary results. The main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) won 12 seats, while Independents secured 10 seats.

The election saw a voter turnout of 72.96%, with 207,693 people casting their ballots out of the 284,663 registered electorate. The PNC's landslide victory is seen as a mandate for Muizzu's pro-China policies, including closer economic cooperation and land reclamation projects. "The election results were not what the MDP had hoped for, but the party remains committed to democratic ideals and the people of Maldives," an MDP spokesperson said.

Why this matters: The election outcome is critical as China continues to expand its influence in the Indian Ocean region through its 'debt trap diplomacy' and 'String of Pearls' approach. The Maldives is a key maritime neighbor for India, and the PNC's supermajority will enable Muizzu to push his policies through parliament without much opposition, potentially straining ties with India.

Muizzu, who assumed office in September 2023, had promised to send home a garrison of 89 Indian troops and realign Maldivian diplomacy away from India and towards China. The outgoing parliament, dominated by the pro-India MDP, had previously blocked some of Muizzu's initiatives. However, the PNC's supermajority win will now allow him to press ahead with his plans, including the construction of thousands of apartments on reclaimed land, despite environmental concerns.

Key Takeaways

  • Maldives' PNC party wins supermajority in parliament, securing 67 seats.
  • PNC's victory seen as mandate for Muizzu's pro-China policies, including closer economic ties.
  • PNC's supermajority will enable Muizzu to push his policies without much opposition.
  • Muizzu plans to send home Indian troops and realign Maldives towards China.
  • PNC's win could strain Maldives' ties with India, a key maritime neighbor.