Maldives poll body confirms opposition victory in elections

Published: Sep 29, 2018, 15:25 IST | IANS

The final results confirmed the provisional data released by the poll body after the Sunday elections

Maldives poll body confirms opposition victory in elections
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The Election Commission of Maldives on Saturday confirmed the victory of opposition leader Ibrahim Mohamed Solih in the nation's general election and defeat of incumbent President Abdulla Yameen.

Maldives Democratic Party's Solih got 134,705 votes (58.4 per cent) while Yameen, leader of the Progressive Party of Maldives, secured 96,052 votes (41 per cent), Election Commission President Ahmed Shareef said.

"We have announced official results after the bureau decided the complaints will not affect the results in anyway," Shareef said, adding that the results had been delayed as the complaint department had to analyze objections they had received by the ruling party.

The final results confirmed the provisional data released by the poll body after the Sunday elections, The Edition reported.

Prior to the final declaration by the poll body, Yameen accepted his defeat in a live television address. "I know that I have to step down now," said Yameen, who has ruled the country for the last five years amid accusations of authoritarianism.

Yameen's acceptance of the results surprised the opposition, which had been anticipating electoral fraud and a possible crackdown on its supporters. He had earlier asked the poll body to defer the announcement of the election results, according to reports.

Earlier this week, the opposition criticized alleged manoeuvres by Yameen to delay the announcement of results.

However, the Election Commission President had said that the results would not be delayed beyond Sunday and the police and Army promised to "defend the decision made by the people on September 23".

The third elections after the fall of the three-decade long rule of Maumoon Abdul Gayoom were marked by a grave constitutional crisis after Yameen cracked down on opposition leaders, arrested judges and declared a state of emergency earlier this year.

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