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mohammed 'ANNI' NASHEED: Major victory.
mohammed 'ANNI' NASHEED: Major victory.

Maldives’ first democratic presidential election saw a former political prisoner win a major victory, thereby unseating Asia’s longest serving leader. Mohammed “Anni” Nasheed won 54.21 per cent of the votes against 45.79 for incumbent Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who has been unchallenged from 1978 and has had Nasheed jailed often over six years. “I want a peaceful transition,” Nasheed told reporters, while Gayoom promised “full support and cooperation” conceding defeat. Jubilant supporters of Nasheed drove around Male waving yellow flags. In the first round of elections, Gayoom did not win outright leading to last Tuesday’s face-off with Nasheed, a former Amnesty International “prisoner of conscience”, who promised to end corruption, improve healthcare and communications and turn the luxurious presidential palace into the country’s first university.

COMPLIED BY R. KRITHIKA

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