The exiled former leader of the Maldives, Ex-president Mohamed Nasheed, 51, is set for a dramatic return to the top of the national parliament, with his Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) headed for a two-thirds majority in the 87-member assembly. Nasheed promised to use his party's mandate to usher in a new era of stability and democracy in the Indian Ocean archipelago as it emerges from years of strongman rule, political crises and corruption scandals miring the government and judiciary.
Addressing supporters in Male, he said, "Our foremost duty is to bring peace to the government." Saturday’s poll was the first test of public opinion since autocratic former president and Nasheed’s arch-rival, Abdulla Yameen was forced to stand down after his five-year term, facing charges of money laundering and embezzlement. Election commissioner Ahmed Shareef told reporters there had been no complaints of irregularities in the runup to the vote, during balloting or at the count.