Parliament elect for Maavah constituency and People’s National Congress (PNC) Vice President, Mohamed Saeed on Wednesday declared that although opposition representatives are few in the parliament, candidates other than those on Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) electoral tickets attained more votes overall, and hence there would be no space for MDP to convert the Maldives' governing system.
MDP contested in 86 constituencies and successfully secured 65 parliamentary seats in the elections held April 6, attaining a super majority. Opposition parties and independent candidates combined won 22 parliamentary seats, out of which Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and PNC secured eight.
Local media Mihaaru reports that the former Minister of Economic Development stated that the outcome in the elections lends weight to ex-President Mohamed Nasheed’s attempt to convert the governing system to a parliamentary system. He further said that any and all possible efforts to prevent this attempt would be undertaken by PPM and PNC in the parliament.
After the elections, Nasheed had expressed the need to convert the governing system to a parliamentary system, but that the conversion would only take place with permission from President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. Nasheed also said that it would also be plausible after fulfilling the promises made in “Agenda 19”, MDP's manifesto for the new parliament.
“Considering the citizens’ majority, MDP did not receive the supermajority. While taking regions into consideration, the opposition received more votes than MDP", said Saeed.
He further iterated that the opposition including PPM and PNC lost the elections due to the obstructions and intimidations posed by the administration.
Moreover, he claimed that the administration arrested former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, froze PPM funds and instated Presidential Commissions allegedly to intimidate and threaten opposition with jail just ahead of the elections, thus ensuring that the opposition lost. He further alleged that even President Solih was involved in greatly influencing the elections by announcing projects and campaigning.
According to Saeed, PPM and PNC’s responsibility would be to hold the administration accountable in the parliamentary elections.
“Government will be held accountable, development will not halt and advancement options will be found. We will stop the efforts underway to convert the governing system in Maldives”.
Saeed predicted that the outcome of the election will result in discord and turmoil within MDP, and that there are two ideologies in MDP: the left wing and the right wing.
“Right wing is attempting to introduce an entirely different brand of nationalism. Left wing is concerned with promoting development agenda. This conflict will be seen.”
He said that despite PPM’s losses in both the 2018 presidential elections and the parliamentary elections, its future is not dark. He elaborated that with Yameen’s thinking, the party's future is paved in accordance with the needs of the citizens.
“The party would strengthen with the trust the people have for President Yameen”, said Saeed.
However, Yameen was not greatly involved in the PPM campaigns. Since his release towards the end of the campaign, he did not attend a single campaign rally of PPM or PNC. The former President instead opted to address gatherings via conference calls.