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Outcome of election shows Maldivians want to preserve sovereignty & freedom: President Muizzu

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(Eds: With file photo)

Male, Apr 23 (PTI) Armed with a ‘super majority’ in the parliamentary polls, Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu has said the international community will now understand where the Maldivians stand, especially on the issue of sovereignty and freedom.

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The pro-China Maldivian president’s statement came at a celebratory event on Monday, a day after the People’s National Congress (PNC), led by him, won 68 out of 93 seats in Sunday’s polls and its coalition partners Maldives National Party (MNP) and Maldives Development Alliance (MDA) won one and two seats, respectively, taking the total to more than two-thirds in the People’s Majlis.

A majority in Parliament would mean that Muizzu’s party has control not just over lawmaking but also over the legislature which ratifies the laws; which till now had two opposing coalitions and saw several instances of a conflict between the government and the legislature.

The PNC’s “super majority” in parliamentary elections is being seen as a strong endorsement of his pro-Beijing foreign policy, as both India and China closely watched the outcome of the polls in the strategically-located archipelago nation in the Indian Ocean.

Muizzu, 45, rode to power last year on the ‘India Out’ plank and since assuming office in November 2023, has visited China and cemented Male’s ties with Beijing, including in the defence sector.

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Ahead of the parliamentary elections, the main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), led by pro-India former president Ibrahim Mohamed Solih had advocated restoring ties with India. The MDP, however, won only 15 seats.

Muizzu, who has forced the repatriation of 88 Indian military personnel manning three aviation platforms gifted by India to the Maldives, two of the three batches have already left, said, “We are a proud nation that loves sovereignty and freedom, which we have shown to the international community as well.”

The parliamentary election result was also to prove that the Maldivians want “autonomy in choosing their future, without foreign coercion,” President Muizzu said, without naming any country, according to the Sun.mv news portal.

“It has also become evident for those with other hidden agendas, what the Maldivians want. So, I urge them to let go of dissidence, now that the elections are over,” the president said.

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“To everyone outside of Maldives … To everyone in the international community …. It must be clear now. That we want to decide our own matters by ourselves,” he was quoted as saying by Adhadhu.com.

Even when he did not name any country during the victory speech, in the run-up to Sunday’s polls, Muizzu and other leaders from his PNC had repeatedly claimed that India influenced internal affairs in the past.

The President said he and his team “would use the majority in Parliament to fulfil the demands of the people and fulfil the pledges made by the government,” the portal said.

Muizzu also “very respectfully” called on political leaders and all parties to move forward with the work of developing the nation; said the country belongs to all Maldivian citizens, and said he would work harder than in the past five months.

“These past five months were nothing. You would now have to stay awake for 24 hours. I’m saying seriously. I want to bring development as the public wanted,” Adhadhu.com said on Tuesday quoting the President as saying while addressing the newly elected lawmakers, cabinet ministers, and senior officials of state-owned enterprises.

During Monday’s celebratory event, Muizzu also claimed that the election outcome is proof that the Maldivians want to uphold and sustain the Islamic faith and its guiding principles as a core identity in shaping the country’s future.

Meanwhile, Speaker Mohamed Aslam has announced that the new members elected to Parliament in Sunday’s election will be sworn in on May 28.

Speaker Aslam, who has served four consecutive terms in the Majlis, failed to defend his seat. PTI NPK AKJ

NPK

 

 

 

 

 

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