Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday wished Maldivian President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on his party’s landslide victory in the recent parliamentary elections.
A statement from President Solih’s office said Mr. Modi “personally called” on Monday morning, “to congratulate him on his party’s exceptionally strong performance” in the Maldives’s Majlis elections, in which his Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) secured 65 of 87 seats, securing a significant majority in parliament.
Mr. Modi said the poll outcome was indicative of “the high level of trust and support” that Maldivian citizens had vested in their Government and its policy priorities. “He [Mr. Modi] further conveyed his full confidence that the Maldives government can deliver on their promises towards the Maldivian people in the upcoming five years, and that the Indian Government will always stand ready to be of assistance to the Maldives,” the statement said.
The Hindu independently learnt from sources in Male that Mr. Modi also spoke to former President and prominent MDP leader Mohamed Nasheed, who won a seat in the capital Male and made a political comeback, after being exiled for some years due to a highly disputed criminal conviction during the predecessor government of President Abdulla Yameen. Mr. Nasheed returned to Male following the regime change last year and contested the recent polls after a Maldives court overturned his earlier conviction.
New Delhi has been watching developments in Male closely, as it tries to renew ties with the neighbour after the relationship turned increasingly hostile during the Yameen administration.
Mr. Modi attended President Solih’s swearing-in ceremony in November 2018, and then held talks with Mr. Solih in New Delhi, when the Maldivian President visited in December last year. In February, Mr. Modi also met with Mr. Nasheed in New Delhi.