A change in the Maldives

Democracy is a strange leveller. In domestic politics it has a way of springing up surprises which few anticipate. Even in foreign relations, it can make crises disappear in the same manner in which it can create them. When most had assumed that a second term for Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen was a done deal, given the controlled nature of the Maldivian elections, the people of the small archipelago in the Indian Ocean voted for change and brought to power the Opposition candidate, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. They came out in huge numbers with the turnout being 89.2% and dealt a decisive blow to Mr. Yameen. Democratic vote Belying concerns that he may not respect the outcome, after a few hours of election results, Mr. Yameen conceded defeat in a televised address by saying: “The Maldivian people have decided what they want. I have accepted the results.” Mr. Solih is a senior politician in the Maldives and was the joint presidential candidate for an opposition alliance of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), the Jumhooree Party and the Adhaalath Party. His victory underscores the commitment of the Maldivian politicians to secure the future of democracy in their country. The exiled former President of the Maldives, Mohammed Nasheed, who was ousted by Mr. Yameen in 2012, underlined this when he tweeted that Mr. Solih had done “an extremely good service” to the people. This was a do or die battle for democrats and they succeeded. After the results came out, India’s Ministry of External Affairs said Sunday’s election marked “not only the triumph of democratic forces in the Maldives but also reflects the firm commitment to the values of democracy and the rule of law.” Prime Minister Narendra Modi also called Mr. Solih, underscoring his support for better ties between the two countries. The U.S. State Department said the Maldivian people had “raised their democratic voices to determine the future of their country.”

Source : https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-opinion/a-change-in-the-maldives/article25043136.ece

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