The opposition candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih of the Maldivian Democratic Party has been declared as the winner of the presidential election in the Maldives by the Election Commission of that country on Monday. The joint opposition candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih of the Maldivian Democratic Party has beaten incumbent Yameen Abdul Gayoom.
According to agency reports, “The Commission spokesman Ahmed Akram said that Solih obtained 134,616 or 58.3 per cent of the votes polled, as per the provisional data of the election commission.”
The island country is of strategic importance to New Delhi, besides being home to around 22,000 Indians, its growing proximity to China has been of great concern here.
India, which has been keenly watching the elections and concerned with the political instability in the Maldives, welcomed the result.
“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 External Affairs Ministry said in a statement.
According to the statement “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”.
Welcoming the successful completion of the third Presidential election process in the neighbouring island nation, talking to FE Online, former diplomat Ambassador Anil Triguyanat said, “According to preliminary information, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has won. 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. In keeping with our ‘Neighbourhood First’ Policy, India looks forward to working closely with the Maldives in further deepening our partnership.”
Exiled former President Mohamed Nasheed said on Twitter that Solih had done “an extremely good service” to the people of Maldives.
According to the media reports, both the European Union and the US had earlier voiced concerns about the election, with both threatening to impose targeted sanctions if the democratic situation did not improve.
It maybe recalled that the political situation in the archipelago had worsened after the Supreme Court of that country had in February this year quashed the convictions of nine opposition figures, among them Nasheed, who was ousted from office in 2012. However, after President Yameen had declared a state of emergency and ordered the arrest of two judges, the court reversed its decision.