Monday 22nd Jul 2024
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Defeat in Two Major Elections Calls MDP Leadership Capabilities Into Question

The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has seen losses in both of the major elections in the last year, with a loss in the Presidential election in September last year and a poor showing in the parliamentary election on Sunday. This has led to questions regarding the capability of the current MDP leadership.
The MDP split up after internal disputes and changes in its leadership followed the party’s primary for the last presidential election. Former President Mohamed Nasheed, who won the first presidential election in which the party participated, left the MDP and formed another party, the Democrats.
The biggest reason for the conflict within the MDP was that former President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih wanted full control of the MDP and the ways in which it operated.
The first major election contested under the new leadership of the MDP was the 2023 presidential election. Following their defeat, the leadership of the party came under fire, for good reason. Prior to the presidential election, the MDP held the presidency and a super majority in parliament for 5 years, which allowed them every opportunity to create development and prosperity for the nation. During the election, the opposition leader was also in jail, thus they had a golden opportunity to hold onto power.
Following their defeat in the presidential election, the MDP leadership blamed the loss on former President Nasheed and his party’s actions prior to the election. However, people have speculated that the fault lies with former President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and Chairman Fayyaz Ismail. The party’s current policy direction and campaigning tactics have clearly not resonated with the voting base, which has resulted in their monumental defeat in the 20th parliamentary elections.
When former President Ibrahim lost the presidential election, the parliamentary election campaign was in full swing. Despite this, the MDP’s parliamentary majority chose to refuse the approval of government ministers who were clearly qualified for their portfolios. They also began to openly attempt to overthrow the President after only a few months in office.
These actions clearly had a negative impact on public perception of the MDP, which surfaced in the way people voted on Sunday. This resulted in the People’s National Congress (PNC) being handed an even larger supermajority than the MDP had. Some seats won by the PNC were previously held by the MDP for 15 years, highlighting the change in people’s minds.
The pressure is building on MDP leadership, with the Vice President of MDP’s Fuvahmulah City branch having resigned yesterday.
A large number MDP members are now calling for the resignation of the leadership on various social media platforms. The current leadership is said to be incapable of running the party according to the principles accepted by the members. Some party members who were involved in the MDP campaign are openly calling for the resignation of the party president Abdullah Shahid and chairman Fayyaz Ismail.