The Maldives' leader Abdulla Yameen has conceded defeat to opposition candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih in the country's presidential elections.
The election commission on Monday declared the Maldivian Democratic Party's Solih the winner with 134,616 or 58.3 per cent of the votes, compared to 96,132 votes (41.5 per cent) secured by Yameen, backed by the Progressive Party of Maldives.
"I know that I have to step down now," said Yameen in a short speech from the presidential office, admitting defeat in the elections held on Sunday.
Yameen, whose rule was marred by accusations of despotism, said he accepted the decision made by the people, and urged them "to remain calm and ensure the smooth transition of power".
Shortly before the president's address, the foreign ministry, in a statement, also recognised Solih's victory and said that the process went ahead "smoothly and peacefully, with no reported incidents".
"No major issues were reported in the vote counting process as well as with the voters list, which will affect the results," it said.
These were the third democratic elections in the country, after the adoption of the Constitution in 2008, which paved the road for the establishment of a multi-party democracy in the archipelago.
The outgoing government has been mired in two serious political crises, both which resulted in states of emergency, allegations of corruption and the imprisonment of prominent opposition leaders.
Solih will be sworn in on November 17 and his term is expected to continue until 2023.
Australian Associated Press