HomeEconomyPro-China President Mohamed Muizzu’s Coalition Sweeps Maldives Parliamentary Elections Reflecting Closer Ties...

Pro-China President Mohamed Muizzu’s Coalition Sweeps Maldives Parliamentary Elections Reflecting Closer Ties with China

In a resounding victory for President Mohamed Muizzu’s ruling coalition, Maldives’ parliamentary election witnessed a landslide win for his People’s National Congress (PNC) party and its allies, Maldives National Party (MNP) and Maldives Development Alliance (MDA). The outcome, which secured an absolute majority in Parliament for Muizzu’s coalition, suggests a public endorsement of the government’s efforts to align the island nation more closely with China.

The Maldives President’s policy shifts towards China have caused strain in the country’s relations with India, which had traditionally enjoyed strong ties with the Maldives. Muizzu’s initiatives aimed at reducing dependence on India across various sectors, including defense and food security, have led to tensions between the two nations.

The election results, declared by the Maldives’ Election Commission and supported by trends reported in local media, indicate that Muizzu’s coalition is set to win nearly 70 seats or a “super majority” in the 93-member People’s Majlis or Parliament. With over 284,000 eligible voters participating, the voter turnout exceeded 73%.

While Muizzu’s coalition triumphed, the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), which previously followed an ‘India First’ policy, faced a significant setback, winning less than a dozen seats, down from the 65 seats it held in the outgoing Parliament.

The victory for Muizzu’s coalition underscores public support for his policies aimed at forging closer security and economic ties with China. During the election campaign, Muizzu emphasized the need for a parliamentary majority to fulfill his government’s pledges, including measures to reduce India’s military presence in the Maldives.

The Maldives’ shift towards China has been evident in recent infrastructure projects awarded to Chinese state-run firms. Muizzu’s government has also sought to diversify the country’s international partnerships, signing agreements with Turkey and other nations for food and healthcare supplies.

In a move to bolster its sovereignty, the Maldives has taken steps to reduce reliance on India for defense and healthcare cooperation. This includes acquiring drones from Turkey for maritime surveillance and finalizing agreements with Sri Lanka for medical evacuations.

The withdrawal of Indian military personnel, who operated helicopters and aircraft for humanitarian and medical missions in the Maldives, further signifies the changing dynamics in the region. Muizzu’s government aims to replace these personnel with civilian experts by May 10.

As both India and China vie for influence in the Indian Ocean region, the Maldives has become a focal point of their strategic interests. With billions of dollars invested in infrastructure projects by both countries, the Maldives finds itself at the center of a geopolitical tug-of-war.

Muizzu’s coalition victory reflects not only a shift in the Maldives’ foreign policy but also sets the stage for evolving dynamics in Indian Ocean politics, with far-reaching implications for regional stability and global power dynamics.

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