Maldives’ Election Commission on Saturday confirmed the final results of the island nation’s presidential elections and declared opposition leader Ibrahim Mohamed Solih the winner, Reuters reported. Before the results, observers believed the polls were rigged to favour incumbent Abdulla Yameen who wanted closer ties with China. Solih leans towards India.
The Election Commission’s Secretary General Salah Rasheed said Solih’s Maldivian Democratic Party won with 58.4% of the ballot, according to AFP. A voter turnout of 89.2% was recorded on the election day on September 23.
The Election Commission had released interim results on the day after the elections, but the outcome was delayed after Yameen requested the result to be put on hold. Several Yameen supporters had filed complaints that they had not been allowed to vote.
“We received a lot of threats to delay the announcement following baseless accusations,” Election Commission chief Ahmed Shareef said, adding that the commission had received 423 complaints about the election, of which 194 were outstanding. “The Complaints Bureau and the Commission have decided that none of the complaints filed with the commission will affect the outcome of the election.”
Solih, 56, was supported by four opposition parties, three of which had supported Yameen in the 2013 elections. Solih will be sworn in on November 17 when Yameen’s term comes to an end.
In February, Yameen imposed a state of emergency in Maldives after the island nation’s Supreme Court reversed criminal convictions against nine of his opponents. The emergency proclamation, which stayed in place for 45 days, had strained New Delhi’s ties with Male.