Yameen to be sworn in as Maldives leader after shock win

MALÉ, November 16, 2013 (AFP) – Abdulla Yameen was to be sworn in as the Maldives new president Sunday after his shock win over former leader Mohamed Nasheed, drawing a line under a bout of turmoil on the paradise islands. Yameen secured 51.3 percent of the popular vote compared to 48.6 percent for ex-president Nasheed in Saturday’s run-off vote after a contest wracked by lengthy delays that were viewed as politically motivated, Elections Commission results showed.

Despite the acrimonious campaign, Nasheed conceded defeat and said he would not challenge the results of an election monitored by international observers.

“I graciously accept defeat,” Nasheed told reporters on the main capital island of Male in a late night address.

“We lost by a very small margin. Democracy is a process. It is up to us to make it work.”

He added: “The MDP (Nasheed’s Maldives Democratic Party) has always asked for a government elected by the people. Today is a happy day for the Maldives — we now have an elected government.”

The election commission said that an inauguration ceremony would take place on Sunday and a special session of parliament had also been organised.

Nasheed’s concession will be a relief to the