Thirteen members of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) have defected and crossed party lines to join the ruling Peoples’ National Congress (PNC), marking a significant political shift in the Maldives.
The allegiance of these MPs was formally pledged during a special ceremony held at Dharubaaruge in Male’ City on Thursday night. The membership forms of the defectors were received by President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu, who serves as the leader of the Progressive Congress Coalition and is also the President of PNC.
The list of MPs who have switched sides:
1. Ibrahim Shareef – Maradhoo Constituency MP
2. Adam Ali – Maafannu South Constituency MP
3. Ahmed Haitham – Machhangolhi South Constituency MP
4. Mohamed Rashid – Kommandoo Constituency MP
5. Mohamed Nihad – Feydhoo Constituency MP
6. Ibrahim Shaz – Guraidhoo Constituency MP
7. Ibrahim Naseer – Mulaku Constituency MP
8. Abdul Ghany Abdul Hakeem – Kurendhoo Constituency MP
9. Abdulla Shaheem Abdul Hakeem – Kanditheemu MP
10. Hassan Zareer – Mathiveri MP
11. Hassan Shiyan – Thoddoo MP
12. Abdul Muhsin Hameed – Nilandhoo MP
13. Ali Hameed – Isdhoo MP
Notably, MPs Shaz, Nihad, and Hassan Shiyan were not present at the ceremony as they are currently out of town.
With the addition of these new members, the PNC’s representation in Parliament has increased to 15, establishing them as the new minority party. Including the two MPs from PNC’s sister party, PPM, the Progressive Progress Coalition now holds a total of 17 MPs. As a result, the number of MDP members in Parliament has decreased to 43.
This political maneuver comes at a crucial time when the MDP had previously expressed its intent to remove the President and Vice President through parliamentary means. The defection of seven MPs to join President Dr. Muizzu’s government led to the amendment of Parliament rules, reducing the total number of MPs to 80 instead of 87 until the next parliamentary elections. Despite this, the defections have effectively thwarted MDP’s plans to unilaterally oust the President and Vice President from power.