Maldives ruling party celebrates landslide win in parliamentary polls

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Maldives ruling party celebrates landslide win in parliamentary polls

Male: The ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) on Sunday celebrated a historic victory as preliminary results showed its candidates securing a landslide victory in the parliamentary polls deemed crucial for the island nation.

According to the preliminary results from the Elections Commission late Saturday, the MDP won 62 out of the 87 seats in the People’s Majlis, reports Efe news.

The party secured seats from all three major cities and populous islands. It also took major seats that previously belonged to the opposition Progressive Party of Maldives.

In the previous parliamentary elections held in 2009 and 2014, the MDP was unable to secure more than 26 seats.

This is the first time in the island nation’s history that a single party has secured such a majority in parliament since the advent of multi-party democracy following the new constitution of 2008.

Saturday’s voting was held without any major complaints and the voter-turnout was at around 78 per cent. Some 264,689 people were eligible to vote.

MDP supporters staged a victory rally in the capital Male late Saturday night where President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and former leader Mohamed Nasheed addressed a jubilant crowd.

Nasheed, who also won a seat, promised to deliver on his promises.

“Our biggest job is to ensure that the government of our president continues smoothly and peacefully,” he told hundreds of people.

Solih, who became President in September as the candidate of a four-party coalition, reiterated his commitment to the coalition.

“Today’s decision by the people is proof that you still stand with the decision made on September 23rd. You have decided never to go back to corruption,” he said.

The newly-elected parliament will give legal authority to the presidential commissions formed to investigate corruption, abductions and murders, he said.

“Anyone with the intention to steal the people’s money cannot be a part of this government,” he said, stressing the role of journalists in blowing the whistle over wrongdoings.

Vice President Faisal Naseem and Tourism Minister Ali Waheed from the coalition partner the Jumhooree Party (JP) also attended Saturday night’s celebration rally.

But JP leader Gasim Ibrahim earlier formed an alliance with the opposition for the parliamentary election and hinted at leaving the coalition government if the MDP won a majority.

Gasim has accused the MDP of reneging on a coalition agreement for the four parties to jointly contest the parliamentary polls and accused Nasheed of trying to become the prime minister.

The disagreement within the coalition resulted in the JP forming an alliance with the opposition Progressive Party of Maldives and the People’s National Congress.

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