PM congratulates Maldives president-elect Nasheed

October 29th, 2008 - 10:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghNew Delhi, Oct 29 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has congratulated Maldives President-elect Mohamed Nasheed, terming his victory a “historic occasion”. “This is a historic occasion for the people of the Maldives as Maldives enters a new era of democracy,” Manmohan Singh said in a message Wednesday.

“I am confident that the Maldives will attain even greater heights under your leadership and stewardship,” the message said.

Noting that India and the Maldives “have traditionally enjoyed excellent bilateral relations”, the prime minister said: “I wish to assure you of India’s commitment to further strengthening and deepening of our relations with the Maldives.”

“I look forward to working with you towards this end for the mutual benefit of our two people,” Manmohan Singh said.

Nasheed was declared elected in Tuesday’s run-off elections, defeating President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom who has been ruling the island chain since 1978 and was running for a seventh term.

According to Election Commission officials in Male, Nasheed had received 94,054 votes (54 percent) against Gayoom who received 80,196 (46 percent) of the 174,250 votes cast.

In the first round of elections held Oct 8, Gayoom received 44 percent while Nasheed got 25 percent - both short of the necessary 50 percent, prompting Tuesday’s run-off poll.

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