Maldives election: Surprise victory for opposition leader Solihhttps://indianexpress.com/photos/world-news/maldives-election-surprise-victory-for-opposition-leader-solih-5373062/

Maldives election: Surprise victory for opposition leader Solih

The surprise victory of opposition candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih in the Maldives' third multiparty presidential election will shake up politics in the Indian Ocean archipelago.

The surprise victory of opposition candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih in the Maldives' third multiparty presidential election will shake up politics in the Indian Ocean archipelago. (Source: AP)

Maldives' opposition presidential candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, third left, and his running mate Faisal Naseem, third right, pose for photographers as they celebrate their victory in the presidential election in Male, Maldives. A longtime but little-known lawmaker, Solih declared victory at his party's campaign headquarters in a contentious election widely seen as a referendum on the island nation's young democracy. (Source: AP)

The election commission released provisional results on Monday showing Solih had won with 58.3 percent of the vote, with voter turnout of 89.2 percent in the country of 400,000 people. Officials said voting proceeded smoothly, with no reported incidents. (Source: AP)

After meeting with Solih, Yameen conceded defeat and promised to work on a smooth transition of power.(Source: AP)

Solih, 56, was a democracy activist during decades of autocratic rule and a former Parliament majority leader. He became the Maldivian Democratic Party's presidential candidate after its other top figures were jailed or exiled by Yameen's government. (Source: AP)

After Solih claimed victory just after midnight on Monday, his supporters flooded the streets, hugging one another, waving the Maldivian flag, cheering and honking horns in celebration. In Pic: A supporter of Maldives' opposition presidential candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih waves Maldivian Democratic Party flag outside a party office in Male, Maldives, Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (Source: AP)

India, another former British colony, played a major role in helping build the Maldivian economy, underwriting political stability through support of decades of autocratic rule. The foreign ministry issued a statement Monday saying it looked forward to working with Solih's new government "in further deepening our relationship." (Source: AP)

Solih campaigned door to door, promising at rallies to restore democratic freedoms and the rule of law, a message that resonated with voters who saw signs the Maldives was slipping back to autocratic rule, just a decade after achieving democracy. (Source: AP)