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In a setback to Maldives President Muizzu, pro-India opposition MPD wins Male Mayoral poll

The MDP is headed by pro-India former president Mohammad Solih, who was defeated by Muizzu, a pro-China leader, in the presidential elections.

MuizzuMALE:  In a setback to Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu, pro-India opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) on Saturday secured a landslide victory in the capital Male’s Mayoral election.

The MDP candidate, Adam Azim, has been elected as the new mayor of Male, a post held by Muizzu till recently.

Muizzu resigned from the position to contest the presidential elections last year.

The Maldives media reported Azim’s win as a ‘landslide’ and ‘victory by a large margin’.

The MDP is headed by pro-India former president Mohammad Solih, who was defeated by Muizzu, a pro-China leader, in the presidential elections.

With 41 boxes counted, Azim has taken a huge lead with 5,303 votes.

His rival Aishath Azima Shakoor of Muizzu’s People’s National Congress (PNC) got 3,301 votes, Maldives’ Sun Online news portal reported.

The poll was marked by a low turnout, according to reports.

The Mayoral election victory is expected to revive the political fortunes of the MDP, which still holds a majority in the Parliament.

Muizzu returned to Male on Saturday after a five-day state visit to China.

The Mayoral polls were held in the backdrop of derogatory comments posted by three deputy ministers of the Muizzu government against Prime Minister Narendra Modi leading to a diplomatic row with India.

During his high-profile visit to China, Muizzu sought to align Maldives closer to Beijing.

Muizzu suspended the three ministers after their social media postings, which stirred concern in India and calls for a boycott by Indian tourists who ranked highest in numbers followed by Russia.

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