Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen
Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen

Abdulla Yameen accepts defeat in Maldives polls

ANI | Updated: Sep 24, 2018 18:18 IST

Male [Maldives], Sept 24 (ANI): Breaking silence on the results of the presidential elections, Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen on Monday conceded defeat, saying that he accepted people's mandate.
In a hotly-contested election in the island nation, senior opposition leader Ibrahim Mohamed Solih surprisingly emerged victorious, garnering 134,616 votes, according to the provincial results announced by the Maldivian Election Commission. Yameen, however, secured 96,132 votes only. Official results are scheduled to be announced before September 30.
In a televised speech to the nation, Yameen was quoted by Al Jazeera as saying, "The citizens of the Maldives had their say and I accept that result." He added that he met Solih at the president's office in Male and congratulated him.
Solih had the backing of a coalition of opposition parties, led by the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP).
The 59-year-old strongman, who came to power in 2013, stated that he has "served the Maldivian public sincerely" to take the country into economic prosperity.
Accepting the people's verdict, Yameen further said, "The result of that service is clear, and I thank the thousands who accepted that and voted for me."
Yameen went on to say that he will continue to be the president till his term ends on November 17.
Around 263,000 Maldivian voters exercised their franchise in the high-stakes elections on Sunday, keenly watched by the West and countries such as India and China. Nearly 90 per cent of voter turnout was recorded.
The island nation has been engulfed in a political upheaval over the past few months with Yameen imposing a state of emergency to annul a Supreme Court ruling that quashed the convictions of nine opposition leaders, including Mohamed Nasheed, Maldives' first democratically-elected president.
The growing incumbency in the Maldives was a result of Yameen's harsh policies, such as the crackdown on media organisations in the last few months, imposing a draconian anti-defamation law and allowing only a handful of them to cover the elections. (ANI)