Know About Maldives' New President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih

Marsha Scott
September 24, 2018

Even before the elections on Sunday, Mr. Yameen had been accused of rigging them, forcing employees of state-owned companies to vote for his party, stacking the election commission with loyalists, locking up opposition leaders and canceling voter registrations.

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

Independent newspaper website mihaaru.com reports that Solih has 58.3 percent of the vote, with almost 92 percent of ballots counted.

Transparency Maldives, a local monitoring group, said its early results had shown Solih was the victor "by a decisive margin".

Abdulla Yameen on Monday conceded defeat in elections, easing fears of a fresh political crisis in Maldives.

"We heartily congratulate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on his victory and hope that the Election Commission will officially confirm the result at the earliest", it stated.

Of 262,135 eligible voters in this election, 233,877 voters cast their votes at the 472 ballot boxes placed in the Maldives and in four countries overseas, the ministry said, adding that voter turnout was 89.2 percent.

Maldives' opposition presidential candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih casting his vote during presidential election day in Male, Maldives. But it did not appear to deter voters, who waited in rain and high temperatures to cast ballots. The commission said voter turnout in the country of 400,000 people was 89.2 per cent.

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Polling booths in the Maldives closed Sunday after three hours of extended voting.

The Maldives, a string of palm-fringed islands and atolls lying 325 miles (523 kilometres) southwest of the southern tip of India, is best known as a luxury holiday destination.

The Maldives Foreign Ministry said Monday that Maldivian Democratic Party candidate Solih had won the majority of votes based on a provisional count, but that official results would be confirmed within one week.

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 - chose to join hands to dethrone Mr. Yameen.

A warrant for the raid obtained by The Associated Press cited police intelligence of possible vote-buying at the campaign office.

President Abdulla Yameen's running mate, former Islamic Minister Mohamed Shaheem expressed his belief that Solih bring about "positive changes" to the Maldives. Yameen did not concede, and his campaign couldn't be reached for comment.

The US State Department, which had warned of "appropriate measures" if the vote was not free and fair, had called on Yameen to "respect the will of the people". This also meant Mr. Gayoom and several other jailed leaders couldn't run for the presidency.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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