India has hailed the Maldives for successful completion of presidential elections in the country, which has been won by Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, the joint opposition candidate. While congratulating Solih, the Ministry of External Affairs expressed hope that the Election Commission of the country would officially confirm the results at the earliest.
In a statement released Monday morning, the Ministry of External Affairs said, “Welcome successful completion of Presidential election process in Maldives which, according to preliminary info, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih won. We heartily congratulate him on his victory and hope that the Election Commission will officially confirm the result at the earliest.”
The statement further reads that the presidential elections 2018 in the Maldives marked the triumph of democratic forces in the country. According to India, the results reflect “firm commitment to democracy and rule of law”.
“This election marks not only triumph of democratic forces in Maldives, but also reflects firm commitment to democracy and rule of law. In keeping with our 'Neighbourhood First' Policy, India looks forward to working closely with Maldives in further deepening our partnership,” read the statement.
The last information provided by news agency Reuters had said that the opposition was leading with a margin of 15.4 per cent.
Reacting to the trends, the opposition had on Sunday night said that their own exit polls showed that their candidate had secured 63 per cent of votes, and added that they were closely monitoring the count.
Official of the party of incumbent President Abdulla Yameen had told Reuters that results from areas where he has strong support were yet to be released.
The Muslim-majority Indian Ocean nation has become a theatre of rivalry between its traditional partner, India, and China, which has backed Yameen's infrastructure drive, and prompted concern in the West about Beijing's increasing influence.
Ahead of the elections, Yameen's government had jailed many of his main rivals, including former president and his half-brother, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, on charges ranging from terrorism to corruption. More than a quarter of a million people were eligible to vote across the coral islands.
(With agency inputs)