Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, September 24, 2018, congratulated senior Maldivian opposition leader Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on his victory in the recently-concluded presidential elections held in the island nation.
As per a statement from the Ministry of External Affairs, PM Modi also conveyed his good wishes for the strengthening of democracy, peace, and prosperity in the Maldives under Solih's leadership.
Solih too thanked Prime Minister Modi for his greetings and good wishes.
The two leaders agreed to work closely together to further strengthen the close, friendly and good neighborly relations between the two countries.
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.
Incumbent Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen, however, secured 96,132 votes only. Official results are scheduled to be announced before September 30. Solih had the backing of a coalition of opposition parties, led by the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP).
In a televised speech, Yameen conceded defeat, saying that he accepted people's mandate. He stated that he has "served the Maldivian public sincerely" to take the country into economic prosperity.
Around 263,000 Maldivian voters exercised their franchise in the high-stakes elections on Sunday, September 23. The elections were keenly watched by the West and countries such as India and China. Nearly 90 percent of voter turnout was recorded.
The troubled Indian Ocean archipelago 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. He has also muzzled the media, allowing only a handful of them to cover in the presidential polls.