Pro-China President Muiz’s party wins overwhelming victory in Maldives parliamentary election, provisional results announced

Man, Maldives (AP) — Maldives President Mohamed MuizStrongly supporting his pro-China foreign policy, his party won a landslide victory in parliamentary elections, according to preliminary results reported by local media on Monday.

According to preliminary results, the People’s Congress won 70 of 93 seats in Sunday’s vote, giving it absolute control of parliament, along with three seats held by its allies.

Maldives Democratic Party led by former president Ibrahim Mohamed SolihHe, who is seen as pro-India, held 65 seats in the previous parliament, but won only 15, news site Mihaaru.com reported.

Official results are expected to be announced after Monday.

The election was closely watched by regional powers India and China vying for influence in this archipelago nation strategically located in the Indian Ocean.

Muiz’s election as president last year further escalated tensions between India and China, as he took a pro-China stance and moved to withdraw Indian troops from one of the Maldives’ small islands. .

Sunday’s election was easier than expected for Muiz. Muiz was expected to face a tough battle as some of his allies dropped out and more parties entered the race.

Six political parties and independent groups fielded 368 candidates for 93 seats in parliament. After adjustments due to population growth, the number of seats increased by six seats from the previous parliament.

Muiz ran for president under the campaign theme of “India Out,” accusing his predecessor of giving too much influence to India and violating national sovereignty.

At least 75 Indian military personnel are stationed in the Maldives, and their known operations include operating two aircraft donated by India to rescue people stranded at sea or facing disaster. was supporting. Muiz has taken steps to hand over these activities to civilians.

Relations became further strained when Indian social media activists began boycotting Maldives tourism. This comes in response to derogatory remarks made by three Maldives deputy ministers about Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had raised the idea of ​​promoting tourism in Lakshadweep, a chain of Indian islands similar to the Maldives. It was revenge.

India has fallen from the top spot for foreign tourists to the Maldives to sixth place, according to Maldives government statistics.

Muiz visited China earlier this year and negotiated an increase in Chinese tourists and inbound flights.

In 2013, the Maldives joined China’s Belt and Road Initiative, which aims to build ports and highways to expand trade and China’s influence across Asia, Africa and Europe.

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