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Opposition candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih wins Maldives presidential election

24 September, 2018, 17:59 | Author: Lucille Rivera
  • The Asian Network for Free Elections said the political environment in the tourist paradise was heavily tipped in favour of President Abdulla Yameen and they did not expect a fair contest

The foreign office spokesman Dr. Mohammad Faisal in a tweet said "Pakistan fully supports the democratic process in Maldives and will work with the new government to further enhance the partnership between the two countries".

"We welcome the successful completion of the third presidential election process in the Maldives which, according to preliminary information, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has won", the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.

The opposition candidate had an unassailable lead of 34,000 votes over Yameen.

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Speaking in the Maldives' native language, Dhivehi, Gayoom congratulated Solih and said, "I know I have to step down now". "I will enable a smooth transition".

When the Election Commission announced in June that the Presidential Election would be held on September 23, the opposition parties - Jumhooree Party, Adalath Party and a faction of the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives led by Mr. Gayoom - made a decision to join hands to dethrone Mr. Yameen.

Yameen, 59, was yet to concede but Solih claimed victory in the capital, Male. "People want justice and stability and we will ensure accountability", he added.

Voter turnout was 89.2 percent, the Elections Commission said, adding the official results would be released by September 30.

India also hoped that the Maldivian Election Commission will officially confirm the result at the earliest.

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Under the Yameen administration, China invested millions of dollars in several big-ticket infrastructure projects in the nation in a bid to reverse the nation's original "India first policy". The local media was fearful of falling foul of heavy-handed decrees and reporting restrictions.

Sri Lanka, home to many Maldivian dissidents, also congratulated him but China was yet to comment, with Monday being a public holiday.

The country has been in political turmoil since February, when Yameen imposed a state of emergency to annul a Supreme Court ruling that quashed the convictions of nine opposition leaders, including Nasheed, the country's first democratically elected leader and former president.

Independent global monitors were barred from the election and only a handful of foreign media were allowed in to cover the poll.

Voters in the Maldives have thrown out the incumbent president, Abdulla Yameen, in an extraordinary rebuke to a leader who jailed political opponents and judges and drew his country closer to China during a tumultuous five-year term.

The government had used "vaguely worded laws to silence dissent and to intimidate and imprison critics", some of whom had been assaulted and even murdered, according to Human Rights Watch. President Yameen has been described as an autocratic leader ever since he came into power in 2013.

One of the most senior politicians in the Maldives, and has for years been calling for democratic reform.

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