Super majority will be intact: Abdul Raheem

PNC leader Abdul Raheem Abdulla; he expressed confidence the ruling party will maintain its super majority position at the 20th parliamentary assembly -- Sun Photo/ Mohamed Hamza

Ruling PNC's Chairperson Abdul Raheem Abdulla has expressed confidence maintaining the party's super majority position at the 20th parliamentary assembly.

The PNC leader as well as the Special Advisor to President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu said the party can sustain its position due to the strong political experience from previous parliament assemblies and the work carried out as the opposition in the last five years.

The then ruling parties took majority in the parliament during the last three elections. Although the majority party's parliamentary composition continued to expand each time, the parties struggled to maintain their positions later.

PNC maintained tradition as it took super majority of the 20th assembly with the recent parliamentary election win. While the party directly secured 66 seats, 11 independent candidates who won seats have since aligned with the ruling party bringing their total composition to 77.

The main opposition, MDP, managed secure only 12 seats.

In an exclusive interview with 'Sun', the member-elect for Laamu atoll Fonadhoo said he was confident the ruling party will maintain its position for the next five years.

Abdul Raheem said the party is confident to hold its position owing to President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu's role as the party's president as well.

"We are at an advantage since the ruling party's president and the President of the Maldives is the same person," Abdul Raheem said, highlighting the lack of this advantage eventually became the reason for the party's predecessors to lose its super majority position in the past.

"When PPM was the ruling party, the party's president and the country's president was not the same individual."

According to Abdul Raheem, this was the primary reason why 13 members aligned with the ruling party chose to exit it during the 18th parliamentary assembly that began in 2014, and added the same reason resulted in a similar scenario during the ongoing 19th assembly as well.

During PPM's regime, former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom held the then ruling party's presidential post. However, due to rifts between Gayoom and his half-brother and then President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, the party split into two, weakening its position.

MDP suffered a similar fate more recently when tensions between former President Mohamed Nasheed and Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, who was the last Maldives President. The tension escalated, splitting the party into two factions after which Nasheed went on to found The Democrats.

 "In a multi-party system, the conduct of a party's parliamentary members is managed by the party's leader, and in this case, President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu is also the party's president," Abdul Raheem noted.

"He [President Muizzu] has a unique ability and approach in managing teams."

The PNC leader said the party has learned from the errors of its predecessors, as well as from the experienced the party gained through its work in the opposition in last five years.

He further claimed the members within the ruling party and government worked with a "spirit of unity".

"Based on our experiences since then, I am confident we can work alongside the current members," Abdul Raheem added.

 The 20th parliamentary assembly is scheduled to commence on May 28th, 2024.

However, the current assembly will conclude by May 18th, 2024, with its last sitting scheduled for May 13th unless the parliament does not decide a rescheduling.

Meanwhile, many believe Abdul Raheem would become the Speaker of the 20th parliamentary assembly. When questioned about it, the PNC leader refused to answer it directly, adding he will respect President Muizzu's decision on the matter.