Maldives. In April Mohamed Nazim, Minister of Defense and National Security, announced that all illegal immigrants in the country would be sent back to their respective countries. According to the minister, special, nationwide operations to find illegal immigrants would be started as soon as possible. At the same time, Nazim warned the country’s employers to hire people who were in the Maldives without approved paper.
In March, the Supreme Court suspended the four members of the country’s electoral commission from their posts for three years. In addition, they were sentenced to six months’ imprisonment for each court violation. The reason was that the election commissioners criticized the court’s decision to annul the result of the presidential election held in September 2013. It was only in November of that year, after the election was postponed several times, elections that were accepted by the candidates could be held.
Although two of the Commissioners were not replaced, the parliamentary elections as planned March 22 were held, which was criticized by the opposition party Maldives Democratic Party (MDP). President Abdulla Yamin’s party, the Maldives Progressive Party (PPM), received 39% of the vote, becoming the largest party with 34 out of 85 seats in parliament. The other two parties in the so-called Progressive Coalition, the Republican Party and the Maldives Development Alliance, received 18 and 6% of the votes, respectively. According to Countryaah.com, Maldives population in 2020 is estimated at 540,555. The MDP was once again content to become the second largest party and continue in opposition. The party received 31% of the vote, giving 26 seats.
In October, steps were taken towards stronger military cooperation between the Maldives and India when Defense Minister Mohamed Nazim visited his Indian counterpart Arun Jaitley. The cooperation is part of India’s strategy to counter China’s claim to dominance in the region through cooperation with other states.