Prime Minister Modi congratulates Muizzu as the Pro-China leader emerges victorious.
Maldivian president Ibrahim Mohamed Solih's (Ibu) election campaign has been Pro India. Ibu lost to the Male city mayor, Mohamed Muizzu who is supported by the Progressive Party of Maldives, which is Pro-China. The runoff elections were held on September 30.
However, Muizzu dictated to protect the country's independence and sovereignty. Over 50 per cent share of votes is necessary to declare the clear winner in the series of rounds in the presidential polls.
The share of votes for both the candidates, Mohamed Muizzu and incumbent Mr Solih stood at 46.06 % and 39.05 % respectively.
The final poll count declared Muizzu as the clear winner wherein he scored a whopping 54% of the share.
Mr Muizzu has been countering Mr Solih's agenda that mentions "India first" by using rhetoric like "Safeguarding the sovereignty and independence"
According to the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, Indians are the second largest expatriate community in the Maldives with a total strength of around 28000. The Indian expatriate community consists of doctors, nurses and technicians, teachers, construction workers, tailors, etc. spread all over the country. Of the country’s approximately 400 doctors, over 125 are Indians. Similarly, around 25% of teachers in Maldives are Indians, mostly at middle and senior levels.
The advisor to the new President Mohamed Shareef has assured to continue ties with India without any hostility towards New Delhi. The earlier 'India out' slogan by the new President has kept the apprehension intact.
The momentum of projects is high. The Chinese take on the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) remains a priority. So, engagements with Maldives have taken a significant leap. A string of pearls encompasses this strategic island as well.
FTA with China is something that triggers China because it has not been ratified yet.
The Greater Male Connectivity Project that is started by India is progressing slowly which is a challenge as China's endearing influence grows in Maldives.
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