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Business News/ News / World/  ‘Pro-China’ Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu's party set to win parliamentary elections 2024
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‘Pro-China’ Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu's party set to win parliamentary elections 2024

Maldives parliamentary elections 2024: The ruling People's National Congress (PNC), the political party of Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu, has reportedly won majority seats in the 93-member parliament. Why is this election crucial for Muizzu?

Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu cast his ballot for parliamentary election at a polling station in Mali, Maldives, Sunday, April 21, 2024. (PTI)Premium
Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu cast his ballot for parliamentary election at a polling station in Mali, Maldives, Sunday, April 21, 2024. (PTI)

Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu's People's National Congress (PNC) is set to win the parliamentary elections 2024 held in the island nation on Sunday, April 21. The official results are are expected to be declared on Monday, April 22.

Maldives local media Edition reported that the ruling PNC won 50 out of the 93 seats in the 20th People's Majlis, winning majority in parliament. As per the report, the majority in parliament is achieved by winning more than half the seats — that is 47 seats — "and a super majority can be reached by three fourth of seats, amounting to 70".

"The ruling PPM/PNC coalition also won the majority of seats in capital Male' city in today's [Sunday] parliamentary election," Edition reported.

Meanwhile, sun.mv reported that of the 203 seats where counting is complete, the PNC led by Muizzu bagged 59 seats, followed by Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) at 10 seats and Independents nine seats.

ALSO READ | Mint Explainer: Maldives elections and India's strategic interests

The Maldives Development Alliance (MDA) won two seats, while Jumhooree Party (JP) got one. The Democrats, Maldives National Party (MNP) and Adhaalath Party (AP) are yet to open their accounts.

Voting for the 20th People's Majlis was conducted on Sunday from 8:00 am to 5:30 pm local time. “Election officials sealed the ballot boxes across the country as voting hours ended at 5:30 pm," adhadhu.com reported.

ALSO READ: From China to Maldives to building Bharat's image — BJP Vs Congress Lok Sabha manifesto on foreign policy: Explained

President Mohamed Muizzu's PNC fielded 90 candidates, MDP 89, Democrats 39, Jumhoory Party (JP) 10, candidates, Maldives Development Alliance (MDA) 4, Adhaalath Party (AP) 4, and Maldives National Party (MNP) two nominees.

As per the information released by the Elections Commission (EC), 207,693 people cast their ballots as of 5:00 pm local time, making for a voter turnout of 72.96 percent. This includes 104,826 men and 102,867 women. A total of 284,663 people were eligible to vote, PTI reported.

ALSO READ: Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu accused of corruption ahead of polls, Opposition seeks impeachment

A total of 602 ballot boxes were reportedly set up in the Maldives and three other countries for the parliamentary election. The countries in which ballot boxes were placed for voting are Thiruvananthapuram in India, Colombo in Sri Lanka and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.

Why is this election crucial?

The election is important for Muizzu as just a few before polls, the opposition parties demanded a probe and impeachment of the president following a leaked report of his alleged corruption from 2018. The president, however, refuted the charge. Besides, since Muizzu came to office, lawmakers have blocked three of his nominees to the cabinet.

Muizzu is widely seen as a pro-China politician. He had run an “India Out" just ahead of being elected as the Maldives President last year. Muizzu had won the Maldives' presidential election in October 2023.

After taking over as the Maldives president, Muizzu had requested India to withdraw most of its military personnel manning three aviation platforms in the country. He also 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 the Indian Ocean Region 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, news agency PTI reported.

(With inputs from PTI)

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Published: 21 Apr 2024, 09:29 PM IST
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