The Elections Commission has decided to pay out MVR23 million (US$1.5 million) in state funding for four political parties with more than 10,000 registered members.
The annual funding was disbursed at a rate of MVR255.30 (US$17) per member.
With 39,502 members, the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives will receive MVR10 million (US$648,508). The main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party with 29,350 members is entitled to MVR7.5 million (US$486,400).
The PPM’s coalition partner Maldivian Development Alliance and the opposition Jumhooree Party were each allocated MVR2.7 million (US$175,000).
Two smaller parties, the religious conservative Adhaalath Party (7,432 members) and Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (3,823), did not qualify for state funding.
Parties without 3,000 members were dissolved last year.
In October last year, the electoral body struck off nearly half of the MDP’s members from its registry after the ruling party-dominated parliament approved a law requiring all political party members to submit their fingerprint records.
Pro-government lawmaker insisted the legal changes were necessary to prevent fraud, but MDP MPs said it was aimed at reducing the party’s membership, and cutting off its state funding
The MDP’s membership fell from 46,608 to 27,805, making the PPM the largest party in the country.
The DRP lost nearly 10,000 members, the JP’s membership was reduced by 3,000, and some 1,000 members were taken off the AP’s registry.
With a combined membership of 101,368 people, 40 percent of the Maldivian electorate or voting-age adults are members of political parties.