The Elections Commission has announced MVR 20,869,839 (USD 1,357,829.50) as funds allocated for political parties in the 2015 state budget
In a tweet yesterday the commission revealed figures of the funds available for each party. Funds are allocated based on party membership.
The main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) will receive the largest sum as it has 46,608 members. The MDP is to receive MVR 7,058,586(USD 4, 59,244.38), according to figures from the EC.
The second largest party, ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) will receive MVR 5,487,790 (USD 3, 570, 45.55). The PPM has 36,236 registered members.
Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) is the third largest party, with 14, 750 registered members. The commission has allocated MVR 2,233,852 (USD 1, 453, 38.45) for DRP.
DRP was founded by former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom in 2005. On Februray 2010, Gayoom announced then-MP and his running mate in the 2008 polls, Ahmed Thasmeen Ali, would succeed as the leader of DRP.
However, in March 2011, the party broke into two factions, led by Thasmeen and Gayoom, respectively.
Gayoom’s faction went on to form the PPM and Thasmeen is now a member of the MDP.
The DRP has remained dormant in the political scene since then.
The business tycoon Gasim Ibrahim’s Jumhooree Party (JP) will receive MVR 2,118,762 (USD 1, 378, 50.49) for their 13,990 members.
Religious Conservative, Adhaalath Party (AP) will receive MVR 1,364,375 (USD 88,768.71). The AP has 9009 registered members.
Businessman Ahmed Siyam’s ruling coalition’s partner, Maldives Development Alliance (MDA) has 7666 registered members. The EC has allocated MVR 1,160,983 (USD 75,535.66) for MDA.
The Islamic Democratic Party (IDP) has 2,148 members and will receive MVR 3,25,035 (USD 2,1164.93).
The EC has said that the funds will be released to the parties next week, according reports from the local media.
The 2013 Political Party Act states the state must allocate 0.1 – 0.2 percent of the budget for political parties. Funds must be disbursed within the first three months of the year according to the number of members in each party.
The parties must submit an annual report and an audit report before funds can be disbursed.
The EC announced the figures of allocated funds amidst allegations the commission is delaying funds to obstruct political party activities. But the commission blamed the delay on challenges to verifying the exact number of members in each political party.
There are 15 parties registered in the Maldives. Many are dysfunctional.
The commission in March fined the MDP and the opposition Adhaalath Party by MVR47,000 and MVR33,000 respectively on the charge of inciting violence in their daily protests.
The allied opposition parties are protesting over the imprisonment of ex-president Mohamed Nasheed and ex-defence minister Mohamed Nazim, and alleged targeting of JP leader Gasim Ibrahim’s businesses.
The two parties have refused to pay the fines and asked the commission to review its decision. The commission has said it has not made a decision on the appeal yet. The commission is authorized to deduct the sums from the annual payouts.