‘China is the winner’ in Maldives election – World

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MALÉ (Maldives): A landslide parliamentary election victory for the Maldives’ pro-China president clears the way for him to redraw the physical and geopolitical map of his strategically-located Indian Ocean archipelago in Beijing’s favour, diplomats and analysts say.

President Mohamed Muizzu’s party, the People’s National Congress (PNC), will have 67 seats in the 93-member majlis, or parliament, full preliminary results showed Monday — already a two-thirds supermajority, plus support from five allied legislators.

A raft of Beijing-funded and Chinese-built projects, including an artificial island with tens of thousands of apartments, fish factories, and a new airport that had been obstructed by the outgoing opposition-controlled chamber — are now expected to go ahead.

“The people voted for Muizzu’s party because they believe he will deliver,” said Fathimath Rasheeda, 47, a housewife in Male. “He promised a lot of construction. I think he is capable and he will do it.”

Muizzu’s pledges are expected to pull the nation of 1,192 tiny coral islands, scattered some 800 kilometres (500 miles) across the equator astride key international shipping lanes, significantly further into Beijing’s sphere of influence.

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