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Maldives election: Ibrahim Mohamed Solih claims victory

September 23, 2018 4:09 pm

The Maldives’ opposition candidate has claimed victory in his country’s contentious presidential election.

Ibrahim Mohamed Solih said he had won by a 16% margin over incumbent Abdulla Yameen, with 92% of votes counted.

Mr Solih said the win was “a moment of happiness, a moment of hope”, and urged a peaceful transition of power.

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The Maldives Independent website says Mr Solih holds an unbeatable lead over his rival, with 437 of 472 ballot boxes counted.

The national electoral commission has not yet commented on results announced by local media.

The Indian Ocean archipelago is best known overseas for its clear waters and high-end resorts but its government stands accused of crushing dissent.

President Yameen favours closer ties with China, while Mr Solih leans towards India.

Officials had extended voting by three hours due to long queues.

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