From the composition of the new People's Majlis (preliminary) one can draw certain tentative conclusions on voter preferences and their vision of the future role of the Majlis. Below are a few points for discussion.
- Voters appear to have a distinctive inclination towards mercurial candidates who can express themselves fluently and create high drama on the Majlis floor. This is indicated by the success of Reeko Moosa Manik, Nihan, Alhan, Thoriq, Ali Waheed and the two Nasheeds. On a positive note, these members appear to be at a higher intellectual plane compared to who they are replacing. Thus this time it may not be just talk, but also substance.
- There doesn't appear to be too many buyers for the MDP slogan 'fulfilling promises,' as compared to the DRP slogan 'holding the government responsible.' It doesn't require rocket science to find out why. 'Holding the government responsible' is the logical function of a parliament. Further, in a presidential system a parliamentary majority is not indispensable to fulfill government promises.
- The relative success of DRP/PA Coalition despite all the audit reports detailing their past deeds shows that the Maldivian people are not vindictive. Instead of harping on the past they appear to want to move on.
- The electorate has given a strong thumbs-up signal to the party system, as indicated by the overwhelming success of party candidates, many of who were unknown and would have ended with 2 digit results without party backing. While it is true that 13 independents won, some of them are not really independents in the usual sense of the word. People like Nasheed, Ahmed Shyam, Red Wave Saleem and Zahir Adam are independents just because they wanted to fight the election that way. None of them will suffer from the usual disadvantages faced by run-of-the-mill independents, and the voters know that.
- An interesting side story is the success of Dr. Afraasheem while his critics Sheikh Ilyas and Hussein Rasheed Ahmed did not make it. However, this appears to have less to do with their religious views and more to do with local politics. Afraasheem had the full backing of DRP, the dominant political party in Raa Atoll. In contrast, Ilyas and Hussein Rasheed had to fight not only DRP, but also MDP, their own coalition partner. Afraasheem also enjoyed the luxury of belonging to an elite family of Ungoofaru from where he won the election.