12:36 GMT +318 January 2020
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    President-elect Ibrahim Mohamed Solih is considered to be close to New Delhi, which is now expecting a smooth transfer of power by the outgoing president, who is accused of amassing huge wealth while in power. His pro-China policy had threatened India's influence over the Indian Ocean archipelago nation.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) — In view of the evolving political developments in the Maldives after the defeat of President of Abdulla Yameen in the recently concluded elections, India's Ministry of External Affairs has reiterated that the country is looking forward to working closely with the Maldives, further strengthening the partnership.   

    READ MORE: Transfer of Power in Maldives May Not be Very Smooth — Former Indian Diplomat

    "We (India) have welcomed the successful completion of the third Presidential election process and have congratulated Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on his victory.  Prime Minister subsequently spoke to President-elect Solih and offered his personal congratulations.  Other world leaders have also welcomed the successful conduct of the elections.  In keeping with our 'Neighbourhood First' Policy, India looks forward to working closely with the Maldives in further deepening our partnership," Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said on Thursday.   

    India has consistently held the position, since the imposition of emergency early this year, that there was a need to protect the democracy in the Maldives and preserve the mandate of the people.   

    "India welcomes the acceptance of the verdict of the people of Maldives. This election marks not only the triumph of democratic forces in the Maldives but also reflects the firm commitment to the values of democracy and the rule of law.  We are confident that the mandate of the people will prevail," Raveesh Kumar said during a regular press briefing.

    Amid reports that President Abdulla Yameen is planning to leave the Maldives, opposition parties and lawyers have asked the police to bar Yameen from leaving the country. President Yameen is facing charges of corruption.

    READ MORE: Indian Lawmaker’s 'Invade Maldives' Tweet Stirs Diplomatic Tiff

    In one of the major corruption cases, Yameen is accused of diverting $79 million from tourism revenues to private accounts.

    Further, the opposition has alleged that Yameen had received around $1million of the embezzled money in his private account at the Maldives Islamic Bank. President Abdulla Yameen is also accused of receiving $1.5 million ahead of the recently concluded election.

    Yameen's pro-China policies had annoyed India, which earlier wielded considerable influence in the Maldives.


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    corruption charges, transfer of power, bilateral cooperation, democracy, Indian Foreign Ministry, India, China, Maldives
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