Maldives’ President Abdulla Yameen has conceded defeat after a surprise election win for the opposition in a poll that was billed as a test for democracy in the troubled island nation. “The citizens of the Maldives had their say … and I accept that result,” Yameen said in a televised speech on Monday. The 59-year-old, who presided over a five-year crackdown on dissent, said he met with president-elect Ibrahim Mohamed Solih at the president’s office in Male shortly before his speech. “I have congratulated him,” Yameen said.
The remarks came hours after the National Elections Commission confirmed a decisive victory for Solih, a long-time member of parliament, who ran representing a coalition of four parties whose leaders are either in jail or exile.
Solih won with 58 percent of the vote, or 134,616 ballots, while Yameen garnered 96,142 votes or 42 percent, the official count showed.
Turnout in the election, in which more than a quarter million people were eligible to vote, was more than 89 percent.