PM Modi Dials as India Oriented MDP Sweeps Parliamentary Polls in Maldives
The ghosts of February 2012 may have been buried for now but caution will nonetheless be necessary as powerful geo-political forces are at play in the atoll nation.
The landslide victory of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) in the parliamentary polls winning 60 of the 87 seats as reports last came in with the official declaration awaited is good news for India as the MDP is aligned towards New Delhi. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi thus called His Excellency Mr. Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, President of the Republic of Maldives as well as the head of the Party former President Mohamed Nasheed.
The Prime Minister noted that this significant victory of MDP signifies a resounding endorsement of the policies and efforts of its leaders, who have worked with deep commitment for the people of Maldives. He welcomed the successful completion of the elections, which marked consolidation of democracy and strengthening of democratic institutions in the Maldives. The Prime Minister reiterated India’s deep commitment, in keeping with its ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy, to work closely with the Maldives in further deepening our partnership and asssit the Maldives as per the latter’s requirement in its socio-economic development.
The Prime Minister lauded the participation of all democracy-loving forces in deepening the roots of democracy in the Maldives, and offered India’s continued assistance for this objective.
The MDP had in an alliance with other parties including some of who are now in the opposition camp ensured the success of the President Ibu Solih. The MDP success removes a major irritant in the Indian relations with Maldives which under the previous government had aligned completely towards China. But Yameen the former President autocratic functioning and alienating of the opposition leaders on trumped up charges had led to his unpopularity thus enabling his detractors to plan his downfall in the Presidential polls held last year.
At the same time caution would be necessary as powerful geo-political forces are at play in the country. Religion is another issue that will have a major impact in case the MDP attempts to enforce a secular agenda.
Thus the ghosts of February2012 when the MDP in a similar position as now faced internal coups leading to Nasheed losing power as the sitting President. Nasheed a popular leader is also seen to be a divisive personality in the extremely polarized power elites of the atoll nation.