Maldivian Democratic Party

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Maldivian Democratic Party
ދިވެހިރައްޔިތުންގެ ޑިމޮކްރެޓިކް ޕާޓީ
PresidentIbrahim Mohamed Solih[1]
ChairpersonFayyaz Ismail
Governing bodyMaldivian Democratic Party Congress
Vice PresidentVacant
Parliamentary LeaderMohamed Aslam
Deputy ChairpersonIbrahim Waheed
Ahmed Abdulla
Founded10 November 2003 (2003-11-10)
Headquarters2nd Floor, Sharasha, Sosun Magu, Henveiru
Malé, Maldives
Youth wingMDP Youth Wing
Membership (11 February 2023)57,660[2]
IdeologyLiberal conservatism[3]
Islamic democracy
Economic liberalism
Political positionCentre-right[4]
International affiliationInternational Democrat Union
Colors  Yellow
People’s Majilis
56 / 87
3 / 4
City Council
18 / 37

Membership Updated 11 February 2023

The Maldivian Democratic Party (Dhivehi: ދިވެހި ރައްޔިތުންގެ ޑިމޮކްރެޓިކް ޕާޓީ, Dhivehi Rayyithunge Demokretik Paati; MDP) is the first political party formed in the Republic of Maldives with a total membership of 53,139 individuals as of 11 July 2021.[5] As of 2023 the party is the current governing party in the Maldives, after having secured safe majorities in both the presidency and parliament in 2018 and 2019. 2019 was the first time one party was able to secure a majority in parliament without forming a coalition.

The party is supportive of the promotion of human rights and democracy in the Maldives. It won the first ever multi-party elections in the Maldives with the support from all the other political parties in the 2008 elections against the president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.


MDP rally on the streets of Malé during the presidential election campaigns of 2008

There had not been political parties in the Maldives since 1952. The MDP initially submitted its registration on 24 February 2001. In 2001, the party's first president was Qasim Ibrahim. Although the Maldivian Constitution allows political parties to operate, the MDP's application was rebuffed. After the people fighting for their rights on the street and the death of Evan Naseem, MDP declared its existence in exile from Sri Lanka on 10 November 2003. Initially, it was formed by a group of 42 people, which included members of parliament, a former cabinet minister and leading businessmen. Members on its first general council were elected on 13 February 2004. Although the MDP was not recognized by the Maldivian government, it began operating in Maldives on 30 April 2005.

On 2 June 2005, the members of the People's Majlis unanimously voted to legally recognize political parties. The MDP subsequently submitted its registration on 26 June 2005, becoming the first political party to be registered in the Second Republic of Maldives.[6]

Throughout 2006, the opposition faced restrictions on freedom of assembly, and the government continued to arrest opposition activists. In March 2006, the government introduced a "Roadmap for Reform" and subsequently introduced several bills in parliament. In August 2007, voters decided via referendum that the Maldives' new constitution should provide for a presidential system of government (vice parliamentary). The special Majlis completed its work and the new constitution took effect in August 2008.

In accordance with the new constitution ratified by then-President Gayoom on 7 August 2008, the first round of presidential elections was held on 10 October 2008. Due to no single candidate receiving 50% of the vote, a second round was held on 29 October between President Gayoom and Mohamed Nasheed. Nasheed won with 54% of the vote.[citation needed]

At the first multi-party parliamentary elections in Maldives, on 9 May 2009, the MDP won 26 out of the 77 seats in the parliament, netting the second-most seats. However, the MDP gained the most votes, with a total of 35.3% (50,562 votes) which is a 10.39% increase from the first round of 2008 presidential elections when the MDP was allied with other parties. From the elections, Gayoom's DRP gained 27.5% of the votes (39,399 votes) which is a 12.5% decrease from the first round of the 2008 presidential elections. In November 2013 elections ex-President Mohamed Nasheed, of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) narrowly lost and Abdulla Yameen of PPM was elected as new president of Maldives.[7]

International Women's Day march, in 2012

In the 2018 presidential elections, the MDP candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih defeated incumbent President Abdulla Yameen, and was sworn in as president on November 17, 2018. He promised to fight against widespread corruption and investigate the human rights abuses of the previous regime.[8] In April 2019 parliamentary election The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih won a landslide victory, and won 65 of 87 seats of the parliament.[9] This was the first time a single party was able to get such a high number of seats in the parliament in Maldivian history.[10]

Post-2018 election[edit]

On June 2022, former President and Speaker of Parliament Mohamed Nasheed announced that he would be contesting against the incumbent President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih in the Maldivian Democratic Party’s primary election amid a growing political rift between the two. The rift originally started with a disagreement between the two on changing the Maldives’ presidential system of governance to a parliamentary system, with Nasheed preferring the latter. Nasheed also accused the President of enacting policies that are contrary to the founding principles and ideology of the party, occasionally voting against bills sent by the MDP government in parliament.[11] He also alleged that the President had removed more than 39,000 of the original party members from the membership register, stating that they were less likely to vote for him and potentially twist the primary election in the President’s favor.[12] The results revealed that President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih won the primary election with 61.10% of the vote.[13][14]

On 17 May 2023, 12 members of Maldivian Democratic Party left the party to form a new party called The Democrats.[15] The twelve members defected from the MDP after warnings of expulsions of four MDP MPs in their faction from the party and the expulsion of Central Henveiru MP Ali Azim (who was also a Nasheed loyalist). The faction on several occasions violated the party's whip line and launched a no-confidence motion against multiple government ministers in President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s cabinet.

The members intend to contest the 2023 Presidential election in September.[16][17]

On 21 June 2023, Mohamed Nasheed quit the Maldivian Democratic Party after 18 years.[18]

On 30 September 2023, opposition candidate Mohamed Muizzu won the second-round runoff of the Maldives presidential election, beating incumbent president, Ibrahim Solih, with 54% of the vote.[19]

Electoral history[edit]

President elections[edit]

Election Party candidate Running mate Votes % Votes % Result
First Round Second Round
2008 Mohamed Nasheed Mohammed Waheed Hassan 44,293 24.91% 97,222 53.65% Elected Green tickY
2013 Mustafa Lutfi 95,224 45.45% Annulled Red XN
96,764 46.93% 105,181 48.61% Lost Red XN
2018 Ibrahim Mohamed Solih Faisal Naseem 134,616 58.34% Elected Green tickY
2023 Mohamed Aslam 85,989 39.12% 109,548 45.94% Lost Red XN

People's Majlis elections[edit]

Election Party Leader Votes % Seats +/– Position
2005[a] None 68,931 31.10%
18 / 42
Increase 18 Increase 2nd
2009 Mohamed Nasheed 51,184 30.81%
26 / 77
Increase 15 Steady 2nd
2014 75,670 40.78%
26 / 85
Steady Steady 2nd
2019 96,354 45.83%
65 / 87
Increase 39 Increase 1st


  1. ^ In the 2005 election, candidates ran as independents endorsed by the MDP.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Our Leaders
  2. ^ "Maldives Democratic Party (MDP)". Archived from the original on December 4, 2023. Retrieved December 4, 2023.
  3. ^ "The political framework of the Maldives". International Trade Portal. November 17, 2018. Retrieved November 29, 2023.
  4. ^ WION (August 26, 2017). "Global Leadership Series: WION interviews Mohamed Nasheed". Archived from the original on December 21, 2021. Retrieved September 17, 2018 – via YouTube.
  5. ^ "PPM begins campaign to increase membership". July 11, 2021. Retrieved December 27, 2021.
  6. ^ "Elections Commission". Archived from the original on March 5, 2012. Retrieved May 7, 2012.
  7. ^ "Maldives election: Abdulla Yameen wins run-off vote". BBC News. November 16, 2013.
  8. ^ Rasheed, Zaheena. "'Hope in the air' as new Maldives president sworn in".
  9. ^ "Maldives election: Early results show victory for president's party". BBC News. April 6, 2019.
  10. ^ "Majlis 19: An overview in numbers".
  11. ^ "Nasheed to contest against Pres Solih in MDP Presidential Primary". The Edition. Retrieved February 15, 2023.
  12. ^ "Nasheed: Removal of MDP members will become reason for President's defeat". SunOnline International. January 25, 2023. Retrieved February 15, 2023.
  13. ^ Udhma, Fathmath (January 29, 2023). "Pres. Solih wins MDP Presidential Primary 2023". Raajje.
  14. ^ "Prez Ibrahim Solih wins Maldivian Democratic Party presidential primary, gets ticket". January 28, 2023.
  15. ^ "EC approves the formation of 'The Democrats'".
  16. ^ "Speaker Nasheed to form a new political party". The Edition. Retrieved May 18, 2023.
  17. ^ "Nasheed loyalist MPs leave MDP". Retrieved May 18, 2023.
  18. ^ "Nasheed Resigns from MDP". June 21, 2023.
  19. ^ Junayd, Mohamed (October 1, 2023). "Maldives opposition candidate Muizzu wins presidential vote". Reuters. Retrieved November 10, 2023.

External links[edit]