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Maldives ruling party celebrates landslide win

Maldives ruling party celebrates landslide win

Male: The ruling party in the Maldives celebrated on Sunday a historic victory as preliminary results showed its candidates secured a landslide win in the parliamentary elections.

According to the Elections Commission figures from early Sunday, the Maldivian Democratic Party won 62 out of the 87 seats in the People's Majlis, the archipelago nation's legislature, reports Efe News.

In the previous parliamentary elections held in 2009 and 2014, the MDP was unable to secure more than 26 seats. 

This is the first time in the island nation's history that a single party has secured such a majority in parliament since the advent of multi-party democracy following the new constitution of 2008.

In September last year, the MDP's Ibrahim Mohamed Solih came to power at the head of an opposition alliance after unseating former President Abdulla Yameen in the presidential election.

MDP supporters staged a victory rally in the capital Male late on Saturday night where Solih and former president Mohamed Nasheed addressed a jubilant crowd.

"Our biggest job is to ensure that the government of our president continues smoothly and peacefully," Nasheed told hundreds of supporters.

At the end of last year, Nasheed returned from exile. A court in the Maldives had sentenced him to 13 years in prison for terrorism, after what Anmesty International said was "a deeply flawed and politically motivated trial".

Solih, who became President after the election on September 23 last year as the candidate of a four-party coalition, welcomed the result.

"Today's decision by the people is proof that you still stand with the decision made on September 23rd. You have decided never to go back to corruption," he said.

The newly-elected parliament will give legal authority to the presidential commissions formed to investigate corruption, abductions and murders, he said.

"Anyone with the intention to steal the people's money cannot be a part of this government," he said, stressing the role of journalists in blowing the whistle over wrongdoings.

Saturday's voting was held without any major complaints and the voter-turnout was at around 78 percent.

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