Pro-China candidate Mohamed Moisu has won the historic presidential election in the Maldives. According to the Electoral Commission, the 45-year-old candidate received 54% of the votes in the runoff that took place yesterday. The current head of state, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, immediately admitted his defeat and congratulated his opponent.
“Congratulations to President-elect Moiso,” Solih wrote on Twitter (X) after the Electoral Commission announced the result. Solih, 61, will continue in his position until the inauguration of his successor, scheduled for November 17.
Muizzu went into the decisive round of voting as the favourite. The mayor of the capital, Mali, had won the first round of voting three weeks ago with 46% of the votes, but he was only 15,000 votes ahead of Saleh.
During the election campaign, Solih called for the island nation’s traditional alliance with India. On the other hand, Moizo is counting on further rapprochement with China.
Moiso’s supporters danced in the streets after local television station TVM and news website Dauro declared him the winner, before the official election results were announced. “He won, he won,” chanted a crowd outside the Moiso party’s election campaign office in the capital Male.
The NGO Transparency Maldives reported violent incidents on election day, without providing further details. Police reported several arrests, including for distributing images of voting papers on the Internet.
Solih, who had never held a high-ranking position before, emerged as a surprise winner in the 2018 presidential elections. His government is accused of suppressing critical voices and restricting press freedom.
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