ID :
Sun, 10/01/2023 - 06:48
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Mohamed Muizzu wins Maldives presidential election

NEW DELHI, Oct 1 (Bernama) -- Mohamed Muizzu will be the new president of the Maldives after he defeated incumbent President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih in a run-off vote on Saturday.

The second round was needed as no candidate could secure an outright victory in the first round of voting on Sept 8.

Muizzu, 45, is a former housing minister and mayor of the capital Male.

He emerged as the opposition Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and the Progressive National Congress (PNC) coalition's candidate after their first choice and former president Abdulla Yameen could not enter the presidential race because he is serving an 11-year prison sentence for corruption.

The president-elect and Yameen's supporters say the charges against him are political and he should be freed.

The opposition's election billboards prominently featured Yameen.

Muizzu secured 54 per cent of the votes against 61-year-old Solih's 46 per cent.

Solih will serve as caretaker president until the new leader formally takes office on Nov 17.

The country's new vice president will be Hussain Mohamed Latheef.

Solih, elected in 2018, is perceived as being too close to India and Indian influence in the archipelago nation has been a significant issue for opposition supporters.