India Monday congratulated opposition candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on his victory in the presidential polls in the Maldives and said the election reflected the country’s commitment to the values of democracy and the rule of law. India also hoped that the Maldivian Election Commission will officially confirm the result at the earliest.
“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. “We heartily congratulate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on his victory and hope that the Election Commission will officially confirm the result at the earliest,” it said.
According to reports, Solih won the presidential election, defeating President Abdulla Yameen who is known to be close to China. “This election marks not only the triumph of democratic forces in the Maldives, but also reflects the firm commitment to the values of democracy and the rule of law,” the MEA said.
India’s ties with the Maldives came under strain after President Yameen declared Emergency in the country on February 5, following an order by the country’s Supreme Court to release a group of Opposition leaders, who had been convicted in widely criticised trials.
India had criticised the Yameen government for the imposition of the Emergency and urged it to restore the credibility of the electoral and political process by releasing political prisoners. The Emergency was lifted 45 days later.
In July, India expressed concern over the announcement of the presidential election without allowing democratic institutions, including Parliament and the judiciary, to work in a free and transparent manner.