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Pro-China Maldivian President Mohamed Muizzu's party clinches crucial Parliamentary polls amid recent diplomatic row with India
Photo Courtesy: The President's Office X page

Pro-China Maldivian President Mohamed Muizzu's party clinches crucial Parliamentary polls amid recent diplomatic row with India

| @indiablooms | 22 Apr 2024, 09:33 am

President Mohamed Muizzu People’s National Congress (PNC) took control of the Parliament by winning the election on Sunday by clinching over 60 seats, highlighting the Island Nation's further tilt towards China and moving away from regional powerhouse India.

Over 200,000 Maldivians voted in the parliamentary elections held on Sunday, in which 326 candidates contested for 93 seats in the next parliamentary assembly, including six news seats, reported Sun Online International.

The ruling party’s candidates ran for 90 seats. The candidates who ran in the elections also includes 89 candidates from Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP); 39 candidates from the Democrats; 10 candidates from Jumhoory Party (JP); four candidates from Maldives Development Alliance (MDA); four from Adhaalath Party (AP); two from Maldives National Party (MNP); and 130 independent candidates, the news portal reported.

The preliminary result showed PNC clinched 60 seats in the elections which marks two-thirds of total seats.

The then-ruling MDP had won 64 seats in the 2019 polls.

The PPM-PNC coalition, which was the opposition during that time, had won just eight seats.

On Sunday, the President's Office shared images of Mohamed Muizzu casting his vote in Male.

" President Dr @MMuizzu cast his ballot in the 2024 Parliamentary Elections. The voting process took place at the polling station for the President's constituency at the Thaajudheen School," the President's Office posted on X.

The Maldives, which is comprised of some 1,192 tiny coral islands scattered across 800 kilometres (500 miles) across the equator, is considered as one of the top tour destinations in the world.

Apart from its scenic beauty, the country is known for its luxury hotels and holiday destinations.

The pro-China Maldivian President faced massive domestic criticism for his anti-India stance as the main opposition parties of the country, the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) and the Democrats, slammed Muizzu for distancing from India, the island nation's "most long-standing ally."

Besides expressing concern over the new foreign policy of Muizzu-led government in Maldives, the opposition parties took to the street in January.

However, the pro-China Maldives President has recently struck a reconciliatory tone and said India will continue to remain his country's closest ally as he had to urge New Delhi to provide debt relief to the archipelago nation.

Muizzu earlier said no Indian military personnel, not even those in civilian clothing, will remain in his nation after May 10 deadline.

Recent controversy

Recently, Indians have expressed anger against Maldivian authorities on social media after its Minister Mariyam Shiuna’s disparaging comments on Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a "clown" and "puppet" in posts on X, which have since been deleted.

These tweets were removed following criticism and backlash on the micro-blogging site.

Other Maldivian officials, including another minister named Zahid Rameez, also mocked Prime Minister Modi's visit to Lakshadweep after the photos garnered significant attention on social media as many drew comparisons between Modi's visit and the Maldives.

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