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Maldives’ opposition presidential candidate claims victory

Opposition candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih declared victory early Monday in the Maldives’ contentious presidential election, which was widely seen as a referendum on the island nation’s young democracy.

The win was unexpected, and Solih’s supporters flooded the streets, hugging one another, waving the Maldivian flag, cheering and honking horns in celebration.

The opposition had feared the election would be rigged for strongman President Yameen Abdul Gayoom, whose first term was marked by a crackdown on political rivals, courts and the media. Yameen did not concede, and his campaign couldn’t be reached for comment.

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