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Maldives leader celebrates victory in parliamentary election

By The News · 09 of April 2019 21:29:50
AP Photo, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, No available, Madivian women cast their votes in Male, Maldives, Saturday, April 6, 2019. Voting is underway in the Maldives in a parliamentary election many hope would help President Ibrahim Mohammed Solih to overcome a coalition split that has hampered his efforts to restore political freedoms and tackle corruption. (AP Photo/Mohamed Sharuhaan)

MALE, Maldives (AP) — Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s party is leading in the vote count in the parliamentary election and has already declared a landslide victory that could give him a free hand in efforts to restore political freedoms and tackle corruption.

The official results are expected late Sunday. Local reports say Solih’s Maldivian Democratic Party is leading at 60 out of the 87 seats in Parliament.

This could be the first time that a single party has won the majority in Parliament since the Indian Ocean archipelago nation became a multiparty democracy in 2008 after decades of autocratic rule.

More than 264,000 people were eligible to vote for 386 candidates running for the 87 seats. Voter turnout in Saturday’s election was over 78 percent.