PPM parliamentary group leader, Eydhafushi MP Ahmed Saleem during a parliamentary session. Photo/Parliament

Chief govt lawmaker vows respect for minority despite supermajority

Saleem assured the parliament that with the PNC's large majority in the coming parliament, the party would not do what the MDP did.

23 April 2024

By Mohamed Muzayyin Nazim

The opposition Maldives Democratic Party (MDP) tried to mentally weaken the government with intimidation when it had the supermajority in the 19th parliament, but this government will act with respect for the minority, Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) Parliamentary Group leader, Eydhafushi MP Ahmed Saleem (Red Wave Saleem) said on Sunday.

Saleem, who was the minority leader for the past five years when the MDP had supermajority, said this after the PNC won supermajority in the parliamentary elections held Sunday, over 70% of the parliament.

"From the past, this parliament needs to learn a lot of lessons. Power and influence are not always in anyone's hands and the result of using that power to intimidate and psychologically harm people will eventually turn on its head; this has become very clear now,” said Saleem, who was elected to the Eydhafushi constituency for a fourth term.

Saleem said that the last five years in parliament saw MDP members “forming four or five companies and working hard to get their illegal profits”.

"So, due to distribution among a few, it results in impoverishment of the poor. This has dire health and psychological consequences," he was addressing the government's proposed amendment bill to the Health Services Act.

Linking his political stance to the bill, he said that “the few members of the PPM-PNC” faced hindrances and harassment and the aim was to weaken them mentally.

"Only six of us here in this honourable parliament, and the things that had been done to obstruct our work, it also caused us very serious mental issues. Those six members were not even given a chance to speak and were being obstructed by systemic loopholes. [And] the harassment continued because we were so few in number,” Saleem said.

"As a result the people among us overcame these psychological challenges with much courage and have come to this point."

Saleem said that after President Mohammed Muizzu was elected to power, the MDP tried to weaken him mentally by doing everything possible to harass him.

"So, we have to tell the Honorable President [Mohammed Aslam] that we should learn from the past. Power and authority, wealth and riches are lost [and] found, it is something that is granted at Allah’s will”.

Saleem assured the parliament on this occasion that with the PNC's large majority in the coming parliament, the party would not repeat what MDP did.

“Hopefully, with the mercy of Allah, we will not try to intimidate anyone in our supermajority, harm anyone and disrespect the minority here and try to defeat them mentally,” Saleem said.

Saleem repeatedly said that this government is working with the participation of all the people without harassing anyone.

The PNC won 66 seats in Sunday's parliamentary elections. The opposition MDP won 12 seats.