Maldives election: Opposition defeats China-backed Abdulla Yameen
September 24, 2018 4:04 pm
Opposition candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has won the Maldives’ presidential election in a surprise defeat of President Abdulla Yameen.
He took 134,616 votes to beat Mr Yameen, who received 96,132, provisional results showed.
Mr Yameen, who has been accused of crushing dissent in the archipelago, admitted defeat, saying he accepted the result.
The Maldives is a key battleground in the rivalry between China and India.
The US and India have welcomed Mr Solih’s win. Mr Yameen had drawn the Maldives closer to China, which has stepped up its presence in the Indian Ocean in recent years.
Many opposition politicians in the Maldives have been jailed under Mr Yameen, and the US and European Union had threatened sanctions before the vote if the democratic situation did not improve.
Supporters of Mr Solih took to the streets in celebration overnight.