India Committed to Strengthen Ties with Maldives Under New President: Modi
© Twitter/@narendramodiIndia's Prime Minister Narendra Modi at G20
Maldives’ incumbent President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih conceded defeat in a social media post late on Saturday evening.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday congratulated Maldives' opposition candidate Mohamed Muizzu for his election victory in the presidential run-off held on Saturday.
"India remains committed to strengthening the time-tested India-Maldives bilateral relationship for enhancing our overall cooperation in the Indian Ocean Region," Modi said in a statement.
Muizzu, the candidate for People’s National Congress (PNC)-Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), defeated the incumbent president Mohamed Solih of the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP).
The PPM is led by ex-President Abdulla Yameen, who was barred from contesting the election in the wake of his conviction in a corruption case last December. Muizzu is widely viewed as a proxy candidate for Yameen.
According to polling data published in local media, Muizzu secured 53.8 percent of the runoff vote as compared to 46.2 percent received by Solih.
Reports suggested that the Muizzu won by a margin of over 18,000 votes. The voter turnout in the runoff exceeded 78 percent.
The first round of the presidential election held on 9 September witnessed Muizzu securing over 46 percent of the overall vote in what was a eight-man race.
At the time, Solih secured over 39 percent of the vote. Both of them, had, however, fallen short of the 50 percent mark, necessitating a run-off vote.
Muizzu’s Election Campaign
A mayor of Male, Muizzu has been viewed as backing the ‘India Out’ campaign during his election campaign as opposed to the ‘India First’ policy championed by the outgoing Solih administration.
The ‘India Out’ campaign was led by Yameen.
At the same time, reports quoted Muizzu as telling a Communist Party of China (CPC) delegation that the return of opposition to power would “script a further chapter of strong ties between our two countries”.
The president-elect is scheduled to assume office on 17 November, with Solih to act as a caretaker President till then.