AsiaNews | Colombo | Tuesday 25, September | by Claude Gunasekera : Ibrahim Mohamed Solih well known in the country as Ibu, (53) is a long time member in the Maldives parliament, who represented a coalition of four parties, will sworn in as new President of the Maldives, on 17 November 2018, after having defeated incumbent Abdulla Yameen on the presidential elections held on Sunday (23).

The AsiaNews & YourTambapanni along with StarMedia congratulates Ibu in Sri Lankan common wish ‘Ayubowan‘ meaning Long Life!

Solih won the election with 58.3% of the vote [and receiving nearly 38,500 votes more than his opponent Yameen. In the run up to the election many foreign observers had asserted that the election could be rigged in Yameen’s favor and that he was thus likely to win a second term. However, when the counting of ballots was nearing completion on election night, President Yameen addressed the nation and conceded the election to Solih, this being a few hours after the latter had claimed victory and urged the president for a peaceful transition of power.

Solih is due to assume office on 17 November 2018, when the five-year term of incumbent Abdulla Yameen will expire. Solih will become the 7th President of the Maldives and the country’s third democratically elected president following Mohamed Nasheed and Abdulla Yameen. Solih is the first Maldivian president to be born in the country’s northern atolls.

The main issue of the campaign has widely been recognized as the question of whether the Maldives should continue to pursue closer relations with China, as it has done under the Yameen presidency, or whether it should instead turn to India and the countries of the West especially the United States, which is a direction more favored by the MDP-led opposition coalition.

Solih was born on Hinnavaru Island but moved to the Maldives’ capital island of Male’ for education. Solih completed his secondary education at Majeedhiyya School, Male. During his school days he was a popular student and took part in several school activities, which especially applied to sports. He is one of 13 children in the family. He is married to Fazna Ahmed and they have a daughter named Sarah (23) and a son named Yaman (21). Solih is one of the closest friends of former President Mohamed Nasheed, who is also the first cousin of Solih’s wife Fazna.

He was first elected to parliament in 1994, representing as the MP from his home atoll of Faadhihpolhu (Lhaviyani). Solih played a leading role in the formation of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) and the Maldives Political Reform Movement from 2003 until todate, which led to the country adopting a new modern constitution and multiparty democracy for the first time in its history. Solih was also a senior member of parliament and the Special Majlis.

Solih has been a senior figure in the party and lead the first Parliamentary Group of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) in 2009. Solih has been the Parliamentary Group Leader of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) since 2011. He has also served as the leader of the joint parliamentary group since the opposition coalition was formed in March 2017 and played an instrumental role in establishing multiparty democracy in the Maldives with President Nasheed.

Solih during his early school days at Majeediyya School Football team of Majeediyya School – Solih is standing first left Solih on the Presidential campaign trail  Solih campaigning on Maduvvaree Island of Raa Atoll

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