The Elections Commission has announced that the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has overtaken the opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) to become the largest political party in the country.
President of the Elections Commission Fuad Thaufeeq said the MDP is now the largest political party with 31,171 members, narrowly overtaking the DRP’s 30,775 members.
Fuad noted that there was a possibility the DRP would regain its position once another 2000 membership forms were processed.
DRP Secretary General and MP Abdulla Mausoom claimed the EC had not included the forms of 2400 DRP members in the list it had released.
”We want to believe that EC is an independent commission,” Mausoom said, ”but sometimes questions arise about them.”
DRP MP Ali Waheed accused the the commission of failing to include DRP members, claiming it was influenced by the ruling party.
”We are visiting the atolls this weekend,” he said, ”and during that visit we will reveal what action we plan to take.”
Fuad rejected the allegations as false information.
”We cannot be influenced by any party,” he said, noting that the commission did not support or depend on any political party. In a previous interview with Minivan News, Fuad has noted that sometimes existing members seeking to join other political parties failed to realise they had to leave their current party before applying.
MDP MP Alhan Fahmy said the DRP’s claims the EC was being influenced were “regrettable”.
”Everyone must respect the independent commission,” he said, ”and when things do not go the way [DRP] planned it is unfair to say the commission was influenced.”
Alhan said when he joined MDP, “many DRP members followed.”
Umar Naseer said he respected the EC and did not believe it was being influenced, but suggested DRP’s membership would top MDP when the new membership statistics settled this week.
By the numbers
After the two major parties, the third largest party in the Maldives is the Jumhooree party with 7565 members, followed by the Islamic Democratic Party (IDP) with 5359 members and the Adhaalath party with 5163. Former President of the IDP Umar Naseer is currently attempting to dissolve the IDP, however the EC has ruled against this decision.
The People’s Alliance (PA) has the least number of members at 3107, below the Dhivehi Qaumy Party (DQP)’s 3480 members.