The ruling People’s National Congress (PNC), led by President Mohamed Muizzu, is projected to win a majority in Sunday’s parliamentary elections, according to preliminary results. The PNC is anticipated to gain more than 65 seats in the 93-seat parliament

The provisional results show that the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) is expected to secure around 15 seats, becoming the minority party in the legislative assembly. Independents are expected to acquire seats equivalent to the combined total of the other political parties, which include the Maldivian Development Alliance (MDA), Jumhooree Party (JP), Maldives National Party (MNP), Adhaalath Party (AP), and The Democrats.

The voter turnout for this election stood at approximately 73 percent, marking a decline compared to past elections.

This election saw the defeat of several well-known parliamentarians, including North Hithadhoo MP and Speaker of Parliament Mohamed Aslam, who will exit parliament after completing four terms. He was defeated by PNC candidate Mohamed Sinan, marking the first victory for the PNC in the North Hithadhoo constituency.

Deputy Speaker of Parliament and Hoarafushi MP Ahmed Saleem also lost his seat to PNC candidate Ali Moosa. Saleem will leave after completing just one term as a lawmaker.

In a surprising twist, the MDP lost the Hinnavaru seat, which it had maintained for the past three decades. The seat was initially held by the MDP’s senior advisor and former President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih before he assumed the presidency in 2018, followed by MP Jeehan Mahmood. However, Mahmood lost the seat to the PNC’s Mohamed Abdul Rahman.

North Galolhu MP Eva Abdulla, who had represented the constituency for the past three terms, also faced defeat. While initially elected to parliament under an MDP ticket in 2009, she switched allegiance to The Democrats last year. Abdulla was defeated by MDP’s Mohamed ‘Kudu’ Ibrahim in the election.

After serving 15 years in parliament, North Maafannu MP Imthiyaz Fahmy is also expected to exit with the outgoing 19th parliament, having been defeated in the election by Mohamed Nazim, the leader of the MNP.

In the outgoing 19th parliament, the MDP held the majority despite the defection of over 13 lawmakers to the ruling PNC amidst bribery allegations. However, the preliminary results from Sunday’s election indicate a power shift, with the PNC poised to assume the majority. This election has seemingly not favoured The Democrats and former President Abdulla Yameen’s People’s National Front (PNF), as they appear to have underperformed.