"" Welcome to my thoughts: Former political prisoner Nasheed elected president in Maldives

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Former political prisoner Nasheed elected president in Maldives

A FORMER political prisoner, repeatedly jailed by Maldivian president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom yesterday defeated the 30-year incumbent in a historic run-off election in the Indian Ocean tourist haven and luxury hideaway.
Opposition leader Mohamed Nasheed's victory in the first multi-party democratic polls in the archipelago with a population of around 300,000 Muslims ends the reign of Asia's longest-serving leader, whose rule was likened to that of a sultan.President Gayoom won the first round earlier this month but failed to secure the 50 per cent needed for outright victory over Nasheed. Citing provisional figures, election commissioner Mohamed Ibrahim said yesterday in the capital Male that Nasheed had won 54.2 per cent of the vote against 45.8 registered by Gayoom in the polls that were the culmination of extended pro-democracy protests and international pressure to introduce political reforms.
This was the first time that Gayoom faced a rival at the hustings after he was first elected in 1979. In each of the six subsequent votes he stood alone for referendums and unquestioningly claimed re-election each time by over 90 per cent of the vote. read more


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