Maldives says opposition wins 'peaceful' presidential election

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Sep 24, 2018-

Maldives opposition leader Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has won the island nation’s presidential election, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Twitter on Monday, Reuters reported.

The ministry cited provisional figures from the country’s Elections Commission showing Solih winning by a margin of 16.7 percent over incumbent Abdulla Yameen in Sunday’s election.

“Voting proceeded smoothly and peacefully, with no reported incidents,” the foreign ministry said.

“No major issues were reported in the vote counting process as well as with the voters list, which will affect the results.”

Yameen has faced criticism for jailing opponents in Maldives, popular with tourists and a key state in the battle for influence between India and China in south Asia.

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

Solih, known popularly as Ibu, claimed victory and called on Yameen to concede.

“The message is loud and clear. The people of Maldives want change, peace and justice,” Solih told reporters in the capital Male.

“I would like to call on President Yameen to accept the will of the people and begin a smooth transition of power as per the constitution,” he said.

Ibrahim Shihab, a spokesman for the President’s Office, declined to comment on the election result when contacted by Reuters.

Mohamed Shainee, the minister of fisheries in Yameen’s government, said on Twitter it was “the beginning of a new chapter” for the country.

“Forgive our wrongdoings, give strength to our leaders to resist the temptation to disbelieve,” he said.

The Hindu, an Indian newspaper, quoted Maldives’ ambassador to India as saying Ibu would assume power on Nov. 17 after Yameen’s five-year term ended.

Published: 24-09-2018 14:48

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