COLOMBO: Maldives President Abdulla Yameen Monday conceded defeat in elections and said he would arrange a smooth transition for president-elect Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.
"I have accepted the results from yesterday," Yameen said in a televised address to the nation after Sunday's election gave the joint opposition candidate 58.3 per cent of the vote.
"I accept the defeat," Yameen said. "I will enable a smooth transition."
There had been concerns that Yameen, who has borrowed hundreds of millions of dollars from China for an infrastructure blitz, might not accept the outcome.
At the last election in 2013, the Supreme Court annulled the result after Yameen trailed former president Mohamed Nasheed, giving Yameen time to forge alliances and win a second round of voting that was postponed twice.
"The Maldivian people have decided what they want.
I have accepted the results from yesterday.
Earlier today, I met with Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, who the Maldivian electorate has chosen to be their next president.
I have congratulated him," Yameen said Monday.
He said he would remain in office till November 17 when his five-year term ends, but would allow a smooth transition.