It is difficult to believe that some Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) Members of Parliament (MPs) defected to the ruling People’s National Congress (PNC) in the spirit to serve the nation, MP for Dhaandhoo Yaugoob Abdulla has said, while also insisting that he was offered monetary inducement to switch parties.

Abdulla’s comments came as 14 MDP MPs crossed the floor to join PNC; some of whom who had been extremely critical of the Mohamed Muizzu administration even in the recent past.

Abdulla, speaking during a television appearance, said the members who left MDP did not join PNC for the sake of the country, adding that he could say so with clear certainty because he had received offers to switch parties.

“The offer came to me. The offer was not to join the PNC for the sake of the country. The offer came as monetary inducement. Money is a bribe. Offers of bribery came. I told them I cannot be induced away in that manner,” Abdulla explained.

The amounts received by the MDP members to switch to PNC were endlessly speculated upon on social media in the aftermath of the defections. Inducements included, according to social media posts, offering family members and supporters political positions within the administration.

Meanwhile, President Muizzu has stated that there were still MDP members — who had not crossed the floor to PNC — in Parliament who would not oppose the administration.