Setback For President Mohamed Muizzu’s Party

Maldives: MDP Claims Victory in Male's Mayoral Polls Amidst Diplomatic Strains over President Mohamed Muizzu's PNC

In a notable political development, People’s National Congress led by President Mohamed Muizzu defeated by the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), achieved a significant victory as their candidate, Adam Azim, emerged victorious in the mayoral elections of Male.

The election outcome dealt a major blow to President Muizzu, especially in the midst of an on-going diplomatic standoff with India. Adam Azim’s triumph, described as a “landslide” victory, saw him securing 5,303 votes out of 41 boxes counted, while his opponent, Aishath Azima Shakoor of Muizzu’s People’s National Congress (PNC), garnered 3,301 votes.

Important Points
• MDP candidate Adam Azim wins Male's Mayoral election
• President Muizzu suffers setback with this loss
• Election result could revive MDP's political fortunes

Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi

This electoral contest unfolded against a backdrop of low voter turnout and heightened tensions fuelled by derogatory remarks made by three deputy ministers of the Muizzu government against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. These comments sparked a social media outcry in India, leading to calls for a boycott of Maldives by Indian tourists, who traditionally comprised the largest group of visitors, followed by Russians and Chinese.

President Muizzu responded to the controversy by suspending the three ministers and simultaneously worked to strengthen diplomatic ties with Beijing during his recent state visit to China. He announced that China had pledged $130 million in assistance to the Maldives, with a focus on developmental projects, particularly the enhancement of roads in Male.

In a joint statement issued at the end of Muizzu’s talks with Chinese leaders, both nations expressed a commitment to mutually support each other in safeguarding their core interests. Additionally, an agreement was reached to permit Maldivian, the national airline of Maldives, to conduct domestic flight operations in China.

The diplomatic tensions with India were not the sole challenges faced by President Muizzu during his China visit. The EU Election Observation Mission of Maldives released a report suggesting that the ruling coalition comprised of the People’s National Congress (PNC) and the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), utilized anti-India sentiments and disseminated disinformation during the 2023 presidential elections, which Muizzu had won.

In response to the diplomatic strains with India, President Muizzu asserted that while Maldives may be small, it should not be subjected to bullying. Without explicitly naming any country, Muizzu, known for his pro-China stance, emphasized that the Indian Ocean does not belong to any specific nation but rather to all countries within its vicinity.

The mayoral election results not only mark a setback for President Muizzu but also hold the potential to revitalize the political fortunes of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) in the broader political landscape.

Leave a Comment