India welcomes ‘successful’ completion of elections in Maldives

India on Monday welcomed the successful completion of the third Presidential election process in the Maldives which, according to preliminary information, the opposition candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has won.

“We heartily congratulate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on his victory and hope that the Election Commission will officially confirm the result at the earliest,” an MEA statement said here.

“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 statement said.

It further said, “In keeping with our ‘Neighbourhood First’ Policy, India looks forward to working closely with the Maldives in further deepening our partnership”.

Opposition presidential candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, a longtime but low profile lawmaker, declared victory at his party’s campaign headquarters in the capital city Male in a contentious election, media reports said.

Solih had 58.3 percent of the vote, with nearly 92 per cent of ballots counted just after midnight Monday, according to independent media reports.

Election watchdog Transparency Maldives tweeted that Solih had won by a decisive margin.

“Supporters draped in the Maldives’ flag took to the streets, hugging one another, cheering and honking horns to celebrate Solih’s unexpected win,” one report said.

Indian government had kept close vigil on election campaign and the entire poll process, sources said.

Interestingly Maldives’ Election Commission said official results wouldn’t be announced for a week, the period reserved for parties to file election petitions in court challenging the result.

 

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