Speaker of Parliament Abdulla Shahid announced at today’s sitting of the People’s Majlis that five MPs have officially informed the secretariat of their recent change of political parties.
The movement of MPs included Deputy Speaker Ahmed Nazim from the People’s Alliance (PA) to the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), MPs Ahmed Shareef Adam and Ahmed Moosa from PPM to President Dr Mohamed Waheed’s Gaumee Ihthihaad Party (GIP), and MP Ali Azim from the government-aligned Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) to the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP).
DRP MP Ali Saleem meanwhile left the party to become an Independent MP.
Following the changes, the majority party MDP currently has 33 seats, minority party PPM has 20 seats, the DRP has 11 seats, the Jumhooree Party (JP) has three seats, and the Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) has one seat.
There are currently nine independent MPs of the 77 elected to parliament in May 2009. The two MPs who recently joined President Waheed’s GIP along with MP Ibrahim Muttalib of the Adhaalath Party as well as two MPs of the Maldives Development Alliance (MDA) are considered independents under the parliamentary rules as no candidate has been elected to parliament on either an Adhaalath, MDA or GIP ticket.
The Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) has become the second largest political party in the Maldives, overtaking Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) in membership numbers.
According to local media, the number of members in the DRP now stands at 22,687 – a 64 member lead on the 22,263 members of PPM.
The largest party in the Maldives, the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), stood at 47,192 members as of December last year.
However, local media reported that the latest Election Commission (EC) numbers for the MDP show that the party had lost 237 members this month alone.
President Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik’s Gaumee Ittihad Party (GIP) gained the most members in February, according to local media, increasing its membership by 372.
Amongst the 16 political parties in the country, Jumhooree Party (JP) currently has the most member registration forms pending in the EC with 2595 waiting to be approved.
The pro-government Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) has overtaken the Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) to become the second largest party in the country in terms of membership.
According to membership figures updated by the Elections Commission (EC) on December 27, PPM has 22,802 members while DRP has 22,575 members.
PPM was formed by a breakaway faction of the DRP following an acrimonious split within the then-main opposition party and a public spat between former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and his successor as DRP Leader, MP Ahmed Thasmeen Ali.
At the time of PPM’s formation in October 2011, DRP had 35,260 members.