The Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and the People’s National Congress (PNC) leadership embarked on a trip to Addu City on Thursday, signalling a robust campaign to bolster membership and consolidate their coalition’s position.

The leadership convened with the media at the airport terminal to delineate the objectives of their journey. Abdul Raheem Abdulla, PNC Chairperson and Transition Committee Chairman, expressed that the trip was crucial for fostering close relationships with the electorate over the next five years, acknowledging their role in the presidential election success and underscoring their importance in the forthcoming parliamentary polls.

The visit is seen as a multi-faceted strategy to thank the residents of Addu for their support, where President-elect Dr Mohammed Muizzu achieved a 37.15% share of votes, and to listen to the constituency’s concerns, and to expand the membership base of both parties. 

Among those joining Abdul Raheem were key party figures including PPM Vice-President Ahmed Shiyam and PNC Member Mohamed Saeed, indicating a united front as they prepare for the upcoming electoral challenge.

It was reaffirmed that there is no contention between PPM and PNC with regards to their coalition dynamic or membership. Abdul Raheem, also serving as the acting head of the coalition, clarified that the aim is not to shrink one party in favour of the other but to strengthen the coalition. This was exemplified by Muizzu’s aspiration to increase the PNC’s membership to 10,000, a goal set to fortify the party’s base without necessitating transfers from the PPM ranks.

The coalition announced a joint primary scheduled for 20 January, with candidate applications welcomed between 20 to 31 December. The announcement reflects significant enthusiasm from potential candidates eager to campaign under the PPM-PNC banner.

While the Maldives National Party (MNP) has indicated a previous understanding to contest the elections in coalition with PPM and PNC, the PPM leadership abstained from commenting on MNP’s inclusion in the current coalition, focusing instead on strengthening the existing alliance.

The Elections Commission anticipates the parliamentary elections will occur in late March or early April 2024. With the current 19th parliament’s term concluding on 28 May, the law stipulates that the new members must be elected before 29 April 2024.