President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s party is on course to win a landslide victory in the Maldives parliamentary election, early result show.
The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) is projected to win almost 60 seats in the 87-seat parliament, local media report. Final results are expected to be declared on Sunday. An MDP win would solidify the comeback of the country’s former president and MDP leader Mohamed Nasheed, who was in exile until late last year. Footage posted on the party’s official Twitter account shows supporters hugging each other and dancing.
“This [the result] will go a long way in consolidating democracy in the Maldives,” Mr Nasheed told the BBC. Mr Nasheed became the country’s first democratically elected president in 2008. His party campaigned on a platform of reforming the judiciary, upholding freedom of expression and democracy. Mr Nasheed was forced into exile in 2016 following a controversial terrorism conviction during the rule of Abdulla Yameen. He returned after his deputy Mr Solih’s unexpected victory in last September’s presidential election.