Maldives Gears Up for Crucial Parliamentary Elections Amid Political Upheaval

Maldives gears up for pivotal 2024 elections amid political fragmentation and shifting alliances, with breakaway factions challenging ruling and opposition parties.

Emmanuel Abara Benson
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Maldives Gears Up for Crucial Parliamentary Elections Amid Political Upheaval

Maldives Gears Up for Crucial Parliamentary Elections Amid Political Upheaval

The Maldives is preparing for its fourth multi-party parliamentary elections on April 21, 2024, against a backdrop of political fragmentation and shifting alliances. The fracturing of the ruling People's National Congress (PNC) and the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), along with the fraying of old loyalties, has injected a sense of unpredictability into the contest.

In nearly 40 of the 93 constituencies, candidates from the PNC and the MDP face challengers from their respective breakaway factions. The outcome and the fortunes of the new administration will be shaped by how votes split in these key races.

The MDP's defeat in the last presidential election was widely blamed on the Democrats, a splinter party led by former President Mohamed Nasheed. The Democrats did not endorse the MDP's candidate, which helped the PPM-PNC coalition's candidate, Dr. Mohamed Muizzu , to win the presidency.

After Muizzu's inauguration, negotiations to get the Democrats to join the new government collapsed, and the Democrats began talks with the MDP. The MDP and the Democrats formed an alliance in parliament, restoring the MDP's supermajority . However, the opposition parties failed to reach an agreement on jointly contesting the parliamentary elections, potentially handing an advantage to the ruling PNC candidates.

The MDP has also faced challenges from former President Abdulla Yameen, who formed a new party called the People's National Front (PNF) after being sidelined by Muizzu's administration. The upcoming elections are expected to be closely watched and will have significant implications for the country's political terrain.

Why this matters:The parliamentary elections in the Maldives will determine the balance of power in the legislature and shape the future of the country's political terrain. The outcome will have significant implications for the stability and direction of the new administration led by President Muizzu.

Former President Mohamed Solih, who is currently an advisor to the MDP, has called for the removal of President Muizzu from office. During a campaign rally, Solih criticized the current government's direction, accusing it of deceiving the public with falsehoods. He specifically referenced recent statements made by a Fenaka branch assistant manager, Abdulla Rasheed, which allegedly suggested favoritism in providing electricity only to ruling party members' houses.

Solih condemned such behavior from all levels of authority within the current administration, stating that they are unfit to govern. He emphasized the need for MDP to secure a majority in parliament to enact legislation preventing arbitrary terminations of employment, and outlined plans to introduce a bill that would safeguard job security by prohibiting government companies from terminating employees at will .

Key Takeaways

  • Maldives will hold 4th multi-party parliamentary elections on April 21, 2024.
  • Ruling PNC and opposition MDP face challenges from breakaway factions.
  • MDP and Democrats formed alliance, restoring MDP's supermajority in parliament.
  • Former President Yameen formed new party, PNF, challenging MDP.
  • Former President Solih calls for Muizzu's removal, promises job security legislation.