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Ibrahim Solih claims victory in Maldives Presidential polls

Ibrahim Solih claims victory in Maldives Presidential polls
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Opposition leader Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has claimed victory in the presidential election, based on results tabulated from 90 per cent of the ballot...

Male [Maldives]: Opposition leader Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has claimed victory in the presidential election, based on results tabulated from 90 per cent of the ballot boxes.

"We have won this election with a comfortable majority, I called on President Abdulla Yameen to respect the will of the people and to immediately begin the smooth transition of power," Al Jazeera quoted Solih, as saying.

Progressive Party of the Maldives official, Ahmed Nihan, said that even though it is too early to declare the winner, the party has the courage to accept the choice of the citizens of the country.

Around 263,000 Maldivian voters exercised their rights in the high-stakes elections, keenly watched by countries such as India, the United States and China.

Incumbent President Abdulla Yameen of the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) is eyeing a second five-year term, while senior lawmaker Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, who was nominated by a coalition of opposition parties, led by the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), will be looking to dethrone the former in an effort to restore democracy in the island nation.

Unlike previous elections, only two candidates were running for the post of the President this time around.

Apart from the Maldives, voters were entitled to exercise their franchise in India, Sri Lanka, the United Kingdom and Malaysia, with as many as 472 ballot boxes being placed across the five countries.

A political upheaval has surrounded the island nation in the past few months, with Yameen imposing a state of emergency to annul a Maldivian Supreme Court ruling that quashed the conviction of nine opposition leaders, including Mohamed Nasheed, Maldives' first democratically-elected president.

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