Bumpy road ahead awaits China as Maldives ousts Yameen

The Asian Network for Free Elections said the political environment in the tourist paradise was heavily tipped in favour of President Abdulla Yameen and they did not expect a fair contest

The State Department congratulated the people of the Maldives for having a peaceful, democratic vote.

The foreign office spokesman Dr. Mohammad Faisal in a tweet said "Pakistan fully supports the democratic process in Maldives and will work with the new government to further enhance the partnership between the two countries".

"We welcome the successful completion of the third Presidential election process in the Maldives which, according to preliminary information, Mr Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has won", said the statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) early Monday morning.

Maldives opposition legislator Ibrahim Mohamed Solih won the country's bitterly fought presidential election with 58.3 per cent of the popular vote, official results showed Monday.

Exiled ex-President Mohamed Nasheed, who was ousted by Mr Yameen in 2012, said on Twitter that Mr Solih had done "an extremely good service" to the people of Maldives. "I will enable a smooth transition".

Joint presidential candidate for an opposition alliance - which includes the MDP, the Jumhooree Party and the Adhaalath Party.

Solih declared victory and his supporters danced in the street, observers held their breath as they waited to see what Mr. Yameen would do next.

He had borrowed hundreds of millions of dollars from China for an infrastructure blitz, to the alarm of the Maldives' traditional backer India.

Party leader and former President Mohamed Nasheed, in exile in Sri Lanka, had hoped to run again but was disqualified because of an outstanding prison sentence in the Maldives.

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Regional superpower India said the result marked "the triumph of democratic forces". The local media was fearful of falling foul of heavy-handed decrees and reporting restrictions.

We're sure the Maldivians have made a right choice and hopefully, the new government under the leadership of Solih will take the people's interest as top priority, as how our former prime minister used to say, "Rakyat didahulukan, pencapaian diutamakan".

There had been concerns at home and overseas that Yameen might not accept the outcome.

The Asian Network for Free Elections, a foreign monitoring group that was denied access to the Maldives, said the campaign had been heavily tilted in favour of 59-year-old Yameen.

The Maldives electoral commission later released provisional results declaring Solih the victor with 58.3 percent of the vote.

The Emergency was lifted 45 days later.

Worldwide monitors, including from the European Union and United Nations, did not send teams to monitor the election, fearing their presence would appear to condone Mr Yameen's re-election.

President Yameen Abdul Gayoom cast his ballot in the capital, Male, about 40 minutes after polls opened.

Elections come amid massive political turmoil in the Maldives.

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