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Maldives Elections 2024: Can Muizzu’s government gain parliamentary majority?

Maldives Elections: The Maldives is set to hold parliamentary elections on April 21 and the polls have shaped up to be a crucial referendum on President Mohammad Muizus tenure. Muizzu assumed charge in November of last year and his policies in he are both facing a litmus test.

Lawmakers will be elected for 93 member strong peoples Majlis, the moldivian parliament. A total of 368 candidates are in the race. The outcome of the elections will determine whether the opposition parties can act against President Muizu. Political observers believe that no party in the country can win an outright majority in Sundays elections, and Muizzu may be forced to work with the coalition now.

Maldives Elections 2024

Maldives Elections 2024

The opposition MDP currently holds 41 seats for President Muizu. These elections are pivotal. They will decide whether his party, the Progressive Party of Maldives, in coalition with the Peoples National Congress, can secure a parliamentary majority. A majority will not only grant him smooth administration, but also secure his tenure as president by avoiding parliamentary impeachment.

Opposition parties have already demanded a probe and impeachment of the president over alleged corruption in 2018. A comfortable majority in the parliament is also critical to minimize the politicization of policies during Muizus tenure. This will mean the future of its pro China leanings, as well as bringing in ambitious infrastructure projects and reforms in housing and judicial sectors.

In January, the growing discord between the ruling Muizzu government and the MDP reached a tipping point when violence broke out in the parliament. Lawmakers came to blows, disrupting a special session convened to seek parliamentary approval for Muizous cabinet ministers. Some of the ministers were known to have pro China leanings.

Muizous tenure has been marked by a series of controversial foreign policy shifts, including his stance on reducing Indias military presence in the Maldives. Earlier this year, Muizu had pledged to get rid of 89 indian troops. They were deployed there in the Maldives to operate three aircrafts gifted by New Delhi. The soldiers are due to complete their withdrawal by May 15.

The Maldives is located along a main international shipping route. It has thereby emerged as a geopolitical hotspot as regional powers India and China compete for influence.

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