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Maldives Election: Surprise victory for opposition

Maldives Election: Surprise victory for opposition

Opposition candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has won the Maldives' presidential election in a surprise defeat of President Abdulla Yameen, provisional results showed.

Mr Yameen, who has been accused of crushing dissent in the archipelago, admitted defeat, saying he accepted the result, according to media reports.

Supporters of Mr Solih took to the streets in celebration overnight.

In a televised address to the nation on Monday (Sep 24), after hours of silence, Mr Yameen said he had congratulated Mr Solih, while defending his record.

President Yameen had been widely expected to win another term in office and some observers had believed the election was rigged in his favour. Voter turnout was 89%.

Who is Ibrahim Mohamed Solih?

* One of the most senior politicians in the Maldives, and has for years been calling for democratic reform.

* Joint presidential candidate for an opposition alliance - which includes the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), the Jumhooree Party and the Adhaalath Party.

* Mr Solih has been parliamentary leader of the MDP since 2011.

- Source: News websites