Visualising the votes that sold the Maldives

Here is a question for Maldivians: Can you name your constituency and your elected official without having to check it somewhere? 

These are some visualisations of the public voting records of the people's Majlis session in 2015 that amended the constitution to allow for foreign ownership of land or freeholds. Land is an incredibly scarce resource in the Maldives, with the majority of Maldivians living in cramped quarters, never getting to access most of their own country. 

For more context here is a clipping from a Maldives Independent article

"The parliament has amended the constitution to authorise foreign ownership of land or freeholds in the Maldives with overwhelming support of 70 votes in favour, a day after the amendments were introduced to the People’s Majlis.

Ten MPs of the main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) and nine MPs of the Jumhooree Party (JP) also voted in favour of the unprecedented changes. Some 14 MPs voted No.

MPs opposed to the move expressed concern over possible Chinese military expansion in the Maldives, and the lack of time to review the amendments. The bill was submitted on Monday, debated and sent to committee for review at an extraordinary sitting last night, and put to a vote today.

The opposition MPs’ backing was necessary as a three-quarters majority or 64 votes was required to amend the constitution. The ruling Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) and coalition partner Maldives Development Alliance (MDA) controls 48 seats in the 85-member house.

Shortly before the vote was called, former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, leader of the PPM and half-brother of President Abdulla Yameen, urged the president to seek public opinion before ratifying the amendments. This is the first time Gayoom has publicly opposed president Yameen’s actions.

The amendments will allow foreigners who invest more than US$1 billion to purchase land within the project site. At least 70 percent of the area when the project is completed must also be reclaimed land. The constitution previously prohibited foreign ownership of any part of Maldivian territory, but allowed leasing of land for up to 99 years."

And yes this is the same country that cannot allow for freedom of conscience because that would mean changing the sacred constitution. All it took was a day! They didn't even need time to consult their constituents whom they apparently represent. I guess there must be some equation where money plays a part in these sacred games.

Anyways, here are some visuals. They were created in excel after creating a data set with the voting records. I'm not trying to win any graphic design awards here, so they are just the default built in ones. If you want to double check the data, see more details, or use it for any other purpose, you can download the excel file as well as my sources + notes from the links below:  


Votes by Party

From a total of 84 votes, 70 voted yes while only 14 voted no. 

This means that 83% voted yes while 17% voted no. 

The parties with the most votes for Yes were PPM and MDP. These are also the two largest parties in Majlis. It is worth noting that the member composition at election, voting, and currently are not the same. Many members have changed their party; with both the MDP and JP losing members to PPM. Several MPs who were independent also joined PPM. 12 people who were MPs at the time of voting have also been unseated due to the anti-defection laws that were introduced this year

This chart shows an overview of how the parties voted by showing the percentage of yes/no votes within each party. 

The MDP (Maldivian Democratic Party) had a total of 21 votes. 11 members voted yes while 10 voted no. 

The 11 members that voted yes for MDP are: 

  1. Abdul Gafoor Moosa [Haa Dhaalu - Kulhudhuffushi Uthuru]
  2. Mohamed Nazim [Haa Dhaalu - Vaikaradhoo]
  3. Abdul Bari Abdulla [Lhaviyani - Kurendhoo]
  4. Mohamed Abdul Kareem [Male' City - Henveiru Dhekunu]
  5. Abdulla Shahid [Male' City - Henveiru Uthuru]
  6. Moosa Manik [Male' City - Hulhuhenveiru] (now in PPM)
  7. Ali Azim [Male' City - Henveiru Medhu]
  8. Ibrahim Naseer [Meemu - Mulaku]
  9. Ali Nizar [Seenu - Hithadhoo Dhekunu]
  10. Ibrahim Shareef [Seenu - Maradhoo]
  11. Ahmed Marzoog [Vaavu - Felidhoo]

The 10 members that voted no for MDP are: 

  1. Fayyaz Ismail [Laamu - Gan]
  2. Ibrahim Mohamed Solih [Lhaviyani - Hinnavaru]
  3. Mariyam Ahmed Didi [Male' City - Machangoalhi Uthuru]
  4. Eva Abdulla [Male' City - Galolhu Uthuru]
  5. Mohamed Falah [Male' City - Maafannu Hulhangu]
  6. Imthiyaz Fahmy [Male' City - Maafannu Uthuru]
  7. Mohamed Rasheed Hussain [Raa - Alifushi]
  8. Mohamed Aslam [Seenu - Hithadhoo Uthuru]
  9. Ahmed Nashid [Shaviyani - Komandhoo]
  10. Rozaina Adam [Seenu - Meedhoo]

PPM (Progressive Party of Maldives] had a total of 44 votes, with all members voting yes. This must be what a homogenous society looks like. 12 MPs were in different parties at the time of election but were in PPM at the time of voting. 

The members that voted yes for PPM are: 

  1. Ahmed Thariq [Alif Dhaal - Mahibadhoo] (Independent at time of election)
  2. Abdulla Khaleel [Faafu - Nilandhoo] (Independent at time of election)
  3. Muaz Mohamed Rasheed [Gaafu Dhaalu - Madaveli] (Independent at time of election)
  4. Abul Latheef Mohamed [Haa Alif - Dhidhoo] (Independent at time of election - unseated)
  5. Ahmed Shiyam [Lhaviyani - Naifaru] (Independent at time of election)
  6. Mohamed Abdulla [Haa Alif - Ihavandhoo] (JP at time of election)
  7. Mohamed Hussain [Shaviyani - Kanditheemu] (JP at time of election)
  8. Hassan Mufeed Abdul Gadir [Shaviyani - Milandhoo] (JP at time of election)
  9. Nazim Rashaad [Baa - Thulhaadhoo] (MDP at time of election)
  10. Ali Mohamed [Noonu - Holhudhoo] (MDP at time of election)
  11. Abdulla Yamin [Noonu - Velidhoo] (MDP at time of election)
  12. Mohamed Musthafa [Thaa - Thimarafushi] (MDP at time of election - unseated)
  13. Ahmed Saleem [Baa - Eydhafushi]
  14. Ahmed Asad [Gaafu Alif - Dhaandhoo]
  15. Jameel Usman [Gaafu Alif - Gemanafushi]
  16. Saud Hussain (unseated) [Gaafu Alif - Villingili]
  17. Hussain Mohamed Latheef [Gaafu Dhaalu - Fares-maathoda]
  18. Ahmed Rasheed [Gaafu Dhaalu - Gaddhoo]
  19. Saudulla Hilmy [Gaafu Dhaalu - Thinadhoo Uthuru] (unseated) 
  20. Abdulla Maseeh Mohamed [Gnaviyani - Fuvahmulah Dhekunu]
  21. Ali Fazad [Gnaviyani - Fuvahmulah Medhu]
  22. Ali Shah (unseated) [Gnaviyani - Fuvahmulah Uthuru]
  23. Ibrahim Shujau [Haa Alif - Baarah]
  24. Ali Arif [Haa Alif - Kelaa]
  25. Mohamed Nasheed [Haa dhaalu - Kulhudhuffushi Dhekunu]
  26. Ibrahim Riza [Kaafu - Guraidhoo]
  27. Mohamed Waheed Ibrahim [Kaafu - Thulusdhoo] (unseated)
  28. Abdul Raheem Abdulla [Laamu - Fonadhoo]
  29. Ahmed Rasheed Ibrahim [Laamu - Isdhoo]
  30. Ahmed Azhan Fahmy [Laamu - Maavah]
  31. Asma Rasheed [Male' City - Maafannu Medhu]
  32. Ahmed Nihan Hussain Manik [Male' City - Maafannu Dhekunu]
  33. Abdulla Rifau [Male' City - Maafannu Dhekunu]
  34. Abdulla Sinan [Male' City - Machangoalhi Dhekunu] (unseated)
  35. Ahmed Faaris Maumoon [Meemu - Dhiggaru]
  36. Mohamed Ali [Raa - Dhuvaafaru]
  37. Ibrahim Falah [Raa - Inguraidhoo]
  38. Mohamed Ameeth Ahmed Manik [Raa - Madduvari] (unseated) 
  39. Jaufar Dawood [Raa - Ungoofaaru]
  40. Ibrahim Didi [Seenu - Feydhoo]
  41. Mohamed Shahid [Seenu - Hulhudhoo]
  42. Ali Saleem [Shaviyani - Funadhoo]
  43. Hussain Manik Don Manik [Thaa - Guraidhoo]
  44. Riyaz Rasheed [Thaa - Vilufushi]

The JP (Jumhooree / Republican Party) had a total of 11 votes. 9 members voted yes, and 2 members voted no. 

The members that voted yes for JP are: 

  1. Hussain Mohamed [Alif Alif - Mathiveri]
  2. Ibrahim Hassan [Alif Alif - Thoddoo]
  3. Qasim Ibrahim [Alif Dhaal - Maamigili]
  4. Ilham Ahmed [Alif Dhaal - Dhagethi] (unseated) 
  5. Ahmed Mubeen [Faafu - Bileddhoo] (now in PPM)
  6. Abdulla Ahmed [Gaafu Dhaalu - Thinadhoo Dhekunu] (unseated)
  7. Hussain Shahudhee [Haa Dhaalu - Hanimaadhoo] (unseated)
  8. Faisal Naseem [Kaafu - Kaashidhoo]
  9. Moosa Nizar Ibrahim [Vaavu - Keyodho]

The members that voted no for JP are: 

  1. Ali Hussain [Baa - Kendhoo]
  2. Abdulla Riyaz [Thaa - Kinbidhoo]

The MDA (Maldives Development Alliance) had a total of 5 votes, with all members voting yes. 

The members that voted yes for MDA are: 

  1. Ahmed Amir [Dhaalu - Kudahuvadhoo]
  2. Ahmed Siyam Mohamed [Dhaalu - Meedhoo]
  3. Mohamed Ismail [Haa Alif - Hoarafushi]
  4. Ali Mauroof [Noonu - Kendhikulhudhoo]
  5. Umar Hussain [Noonu - Manadhoo]

At the time of voting there were two independent members. One of the voted yes, and the other voted no. 

The independent member that voted yes: 

  1. Hussain Areef [Haa Dhaalu - Nolhivaram] (JP at time of election)

The independent member that voted no: 

  1. Ahmed Mahloof [Male' City - Galolhu Dhekunu] (PPM at time of election)

The AP (Adhaalath / Justice Party) had a total of one vote from member Anara Naeem [Haa Dhaalu - Makunudhoo]. Considering that their sole member in parliament is a woman, It's pretty ironic that the AP disapproves of female running mates in the current election. I wonder how Anara feels about that. 

Votes by Region

There are a total of 21 regions represented in the Majlis. I have included Male' City as a separate region from Kaafu atoll despite Male' City being located within in. This is because Male' City has 13 members while the rest of Kaafu atoll only has 3. 

This graph shows how each region voted by showing the percentage of yes/no votes for each region. Maybe this beautiful pattern can be our new flag. 

Male' City had the greatest total amount of votes for a single region with 13. Of this, 8 members voted yes while 5 voted no. 

Votes by Gender

Of the 84 members present at the time of voting, 79 were men while 5 were women. 

This means that only 6% of the people supposed to represent all Maldivians are women. 94% of the people making our laws are men. 

When we look at the percentages, 80% of women voted no while almost 90% of men voted yes. So much for the conspiracy theories about more female politicians being bad news for the future of the Maldives. It's not like the endless stream of Alis, Abduls, Abdullahs, Ahmeds, Ismails, Ibrahims, Hassans, Mohameds, Rasheeds, and Adams have been of much use anyways. 

I also didn't feel the need to include religious demographics as non-Muslims participating in Maldivian politics is illegal as per the Maldivian constitution. So much for those damn atheists selling out the Maldives to the gay zionists amirite? 

I hope you've found these visuals interesting. They are just the tip of the iceberg as far as the insight that could be drawn from just the data set for this voting session. A whole thesis could be written about just the changes of allegiances and their associated events.

Another thing that stands out is the hypocrisy of Maldivian politics. The unchangeable constitution that is used to oppress Maldivian minorities is like tissue paper when it comes to satisfying business interests. Contrast the hateful rhetoric against foreign workers with the reality of how they've allowed the sale of Maldivian land to the most powerful of foreign elites. Marvel at the misogyny and exclusionary policies of Adhaalath Party when their only representation in parliament is a woman.  Consider all the members who were voted in by their constituencies to represent a certain political party who change their allegiances whenever it benefits them. 

If nothing else I hope this gets you thinking more about how little we think of our elected officials as being representatives for their respective regions. Do their votes reflect the views of their constituencies? I somehow doubt it.