Maldives president’s party set for coalition rule

MALÉ, March 23, 2014 (AFP) – Maldives President Abdulla Yameen’s party is poised to win control of parliament with the support of a key ally, early projections in the Indian Ocean nation showed Sunday. President Yameen’s Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) was leading in 34 out of the 85 constituencies after Saturday’s polls while his main ally, the Jumhooree Party (JP), was ahead in 15.

Results compiled by the privately run Haveeru newspaper showed the main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) of former president Mohamed Nasheed was lagging, leading in just 24 seats, with its allies also performing poorly.

The MDP had swept the urban population centres of Male and Addu in the nation’s deep south but had performed poorly in smaller atolls, according to the newspaper’s preliminary tallies.

Election officials said final results from the first-past-the-post election could be announced later Sunday.

Nasheed’s nemesis, former Maldivian strongman president Maumoon Abdul, congratulated his half brother President Yameen on his party’s “impressive victory”.

There was no immediate comment from the MDP, but independent watchdog Transparency Maldives has said the election was conduc

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