Incumbent Maldives President Abdulla Yameen has suffered stunning defeat in the Presidential Elections losing to Opposition leader Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.
The results released by the Elections Commission showed Solih had secured 58.3 percent of the popular vote. Celebrations broke out across the tropical archipelago with opposition supporters carrying yellow flags of Solih’s Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) and dancing on the streets. There was no response from Yameen after the results were announced.
Solih had the backing of a united opposition trying to oust Yameen but struggled for visibility with the electorate, with the local media fearful of falling afoul of heavy-handed decrees and reporting restrictions.
There were also no other candidates at Sunday’s election held with all key dissidents either in jail or exile. Earlier in the night, Solih had called on Yameen to concede defeat once the tally showed he had an unassailable lead.