Maldives opposition candidate Muizzu wins presidential vote
Opposition candidate Mohamed Muizzu has won the Maldives presidential election, beating incumbent President Ibrahim Solih in a second-round runoff that could herald a pro-China shift for the Indian Ocean archipelago, from traditional partner India.
With nearly all votes counted, the Elections Commission of the Maldives said on its website that Muizzu had received 54% of the ballots in Saturday's vote, with 46% for Solih.
About 85% of 282,000 eligible voters in the Maldives, known for its pristine beaches and high-end resorts, turned up at more than 586 polling stations across 187 islands.
Solih, who championed an "India First" policy during his time in power, will remain as president until Muizzu's inauguration on Nov. 17.
The coalition backing Muizzu has supported Chinese loans and investment projects in the past.
Former President Abdulla Yameen, who has close links to Muizzu, is serving an 11-year prison term for corruption and money laundering. Yameen's supporters say the charges against him were politically motivated.