Maldives government acknowledges opposition victory

Maldivian expatriates residing in Colombo were seen at the Maldivian Embassy located at Melbourne Avenue Bambalapitiya last morning to cast their vote to choose the next President of Maldives. The Maldives started to vote for the high stakes Presidential

Maldivian expatriates residing in Colombo were seen at the Maldivian Embassy located at Melbourne Avenue Bambalapitiya last morning to cast their vote to choose the next President of Maldives. The Maldives started to vote for the high stakes Presidential

Opposition candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has won the presidential election in the Maldives, amid fears that the polls were being rigged and that incumbent president Abdulla Yameen's administration was indulging in unfair practices.

He has already called on President Abdulla Yameen to "accept the will of the people".

Mr Yameen, who has been accused of crushing dissent in the archipelago, admitted defeat, saying he accepted the result.

Mr Solih, 56, said voters had sent a "loud and clear message" following his surprise win.

Emphasising that the elections were held by the rule book, Ahmed Akram, Commissioner and spokesperson at the Maldives Elections Commission, said nobody can prove any malpractice or lapse.

Yameen has jailed two former presidents, including his half brother, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, the Maldives' former strongman, his former vice president, two Supreme Court justices, two former defence ministers and many others after trials criticised for a lack of due process.

Results released by the Elections Commission early Monday morning showed Solih had secured 58.3 per cent of the popular vote.

The Election Commission said balloting was extended by three hours until 7:00 pm (1400 GMT) because of technical glitches suffered by tablet computers containing electoral rolls, with officials using manual systems to verify voters' identities.

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Ibrahim Mohamed Solih won the elections with 134,616 votes.

Sri Lanka has also appreciated Maldivian government and people for holding a fair and peaceful election. According to the Maldives Election Commission, turnout in the election reached a 89.22 percent, greatly assisting the opposition in its bid to take on the entrenched incumbency.

The European Union said on Friday that it was not sending election observers because the Maldives had failed to meet the basic conditions for monitoring.

Few foreign media organizations were allowed into the country to cover the election.

In this early Monday, Sept. 24, 2018 photo, Maldives' opposition presidential candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, third left, and his running mate Faisal Naseem, third right, pose for photographers as they celebrate their victory in the presidential election in Male, Maldives.

In February, Yameen declared a state of emergency, suspended the constitution and ordered troops to storm the Supreme Court and arrest judges after they had ordered the release and retrial of those jailed after politically-motivated trials. If we're honest, the situation in the Maldives was very much similar to our country during the election period.

Beijing loaned Yameen's government hundreds of millions of dollars for infrastructure projects like the new "China-Maldives Friendship Bridge", which opened in August.

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