Three members of the Malé City Council have transitioned to the ruling People’s National Congress (PNC) from other political parties. This development is part of a broader trend of lawmakers and council members changing party affiliations, leading to a substantial shift in the political landscape.

Among those who have altered their political loyalties is Ibrahim Aboobakuru, a council member representing the West Maafannu constituency. Aboobakuru had recently joined the People’s National Front (PNF), a party led by former President Abdulla Yameen, currently in the registration process. He cited the new government’s failure to fulfil its promise to free Yameen and its undue influence on the city council as the primary reasons for his departure from the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), the coalition partner of the ruling PNC.

Other council members who have joined the PNC include Mohamed Areesh, representing Northeast Maafannu, formerly of the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), and Aishath Nazima, representing South Mahchangoalhi, formerly of the PPM. These three members submitted their party membership forms to PNC leader, President Mohamed Muizzu.

Earlier, Ahmed Rishwaan Rasheed, who recently won the by-election for the Central Henveiru seat on an MDP ticket, defected to the PNC just hours before his swearing-in ceremony. With these changes, the Malé City Council, which comprises 19 members, now has 16 PNC councillors.

The transition of three city council members to the PNC comes when the MDP and the Democrats have agreed to work together in matters of national interest. The collaboration is perceived as a tactical manoeuvre designed to counterbalance the expanding influence of the ruling party. Political analysts anticipate this alliance will significantly impact political dynamics, particularly in the lead-up to the forthcoming parliamentary elections.