The Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) has again become the political party with the most number of members in the Maldives, after it was eclipsed by the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) last month.
Secretary General of the Elections Commission (EC) Ahmed Ali Didi has confirmed that as of yesterday the DRP’s membership stood at 32,539 while the Maldivian Democratic Party’s MDP’s membership stood at 30,848.
DRP Leader Ahmed Thasmeen Ali told a party meeting yesterday that once the completed forms for DRP membership are submitted to the EC, the DRP’s membership could rise as high as 37,000.
Didi explained that forms were received by the EC every day from different parties, and they could only know how many of those were for DRP once they had screened everything. The results would then be published on the EC’s website, he said.
Didi added that sometimes the parties gave out a membership estimate depending on how many forms they have in their office waiting to be sent to the EC for screening.
DRP Spokesperson Ibrahim Shareef said DRP’s majority was “nothing new”, and said he thought it was “very likely” that the DRP would now maintain membership majority.
“MDP only had majority for a brief time,” he said, accusing the MDP were “forcing” members to change from DRP to MDP with promises of jobs.
“We don’t have the means to pressure members into signing with us,” Shareef said, noting that “many new members of DRP are signing on their own accord.”
MDP Spokesperson Ahmed Haleem said they “are not worried” about DRP’s current majority.
“I think after one month or so MDP will regain majority. There are a lot of forms in our office waiting to be processed.”
He said many DRP members were moving to other parties, “and in about one month they will have maybe 25,000 members.”