President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom Concedes

President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom Concedes

Qayyoom FamilyPresident Maumoon Abdul Gayoom has conceded defeat after facing opponents for the first time in a presidential election.

"Beloved citizens of the Maldives...I accept the results of the 28 October run off election, and I respectfully congratulate Mr. Mohamed Nasheed and his party," said Gayoom in an interview on state broadcaster Voice of Maldives after provisional totals were announced at 9am Wednesday.

Mohamed Nasheed (Anni), an iconic activist who has long protested human rights abuses by Gayoom's government, emerged the clear winner with over 54 per cent of the vote in Tuesday's runoff round of voting.

“As stated in the constitution, during the transition, I am declaring my full support to him,” Gayoom said.

“With much love thank you for giving me the opportunity to be the leader of this country for the past 30 years,” Gayoom said.

“I am proud of my role with God’s will in the introduction of a new age of democracy.”

“My hope is that in this new age of democracy the winning [candidate] responsibly accepts this and moves forward with the nation. My prayer is that God give prosperity to the Maldives and show us peaceful and affluent days,” Gayoom concluded.

He added he would stay in the country, rather than spending the rest of his life abroad as previous Maldivian presidents have done. Anni is due to take office on 11 November.

Elections commissioner Mohamed Ibrahim announced final preliminary results at 9am Wednesday morning, confirming a majority of 54.21 per cent for Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) candidate Mohamed Nasheed (Anni).

Anni won 97,222 votes, while Gayoom secured 82,121 votes, or 45.79 per cent.

It was the first time Gayoom has faced opponents in a presidential election, after undertaking democratic reforms under internal and external pressure.

Six candidates in the first round on 8 October were narrowed down to the two greatest vote-winners, Anni and Gayoom, for 28 October's final vote.

Source: Minivannews

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