Maldives opposition candidate Muizzu wins presidential vote

Sunday, 01 October 2023 - 13:38

Opposition candidate Mohamed Muizzu has emerged victorious in the Maldives presidential election, defeating incumbent President Ibrahim Solih in a runoff. Muizzu secured 54% of the votes, while Solih received 46%. The election, which saw a high voter turnout of around 85%, could mark a shift in the Maldives' foreign policy, potentially moving closer to China as opposed to its traditional partner, India.

During his time in office, Solih championed an "India First" policy, but Muizzu's coalition has previously supported Chinese loans and investment projects. The victory signals a potential change in direction for the Maldives, with implications for its international relationships.

Former President Abdulla Yameen, who has close ties to Muizzu, is currently serving an 11-year prison sentence on charges of corruption and money laundering. Yameen's supporters argue that the charges were politically motivated. Muizzu has called for Yameen's release to house arrest.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Muizzu on his victory and expressed India's commitment to strengthening its bilateral relationship with the Maldives and enhancing cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region.

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