Mohamed Nasheed’s party MDP’s sweeping victory in Maldives parliamentary elections is good news for India. After President Ibrahim Solih won the Presidential elections, India was quick to welcome the results.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi even travelled to Solih’s inauguration in November last year, followed by the new Maldives President’s visit to India within one month of his swearing-in.
Last month, after the model code of conduct was in place, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj went to the Maldives and has made bilateral commitments – which signals Delhi’s commitment towards strengthening the relationship in the coming months, irrespective of the outcome of Indian elections.
Delhi, which has been at the receiving end of the former President Abdulla Yameen’s policies, has a positive relationship with the new ruling dispensation. And, with the Nasheed-Solih duo being critical of China’s policies, New Delhi will try to maximise its diplomatic leverage with the new Male.
Maldives has been caught in a battle for influence between India and China, which invested millions of dollars during Abdulla Yameen’s rule as part of its Belt and Road plan.
Addressing the supporters at the victory rally, President Solih reiterated his zero-tolerance policy for corruption. “This is the moment for all the citizens to work together in unity. We are ready to work together to fulfill the needs of the people and serve them, without any discrimination,” Solih said.