Elections in the Maldives are a test of the competition between China and India – breaking news

The Maldives votes today in legislative elections that are presented as a test of President Mohamed Moizu's policy of rapprochement with China, at the expense of India, which has long been a dominant power in the tourist archipelago in the Indian Ocean.

The Maldives, located in the Indian Ocean, occupies a strategic location on major international shipping routes between East and West, and has become a hotbed of geopolitical rivalry between India and China. The 45-year-old president was one of the first to cast his votes at Taj al-Din School in the capital, Male.

Since Mohamed Maazo took office in late 2023, lawmakers have blocked three of his government appointments and rejected some of his budget proposals.

The current parliament, dominated by the pro-India Maldivian Democratic Party of its predecessor, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, has sought to thwart his efforts to redirect the archipelago's diplomacy. Observers say divisions within the main political parties, including Moiso's National People's Congress, are expected to prevent the parties from obtaining a clear majority, and will require the formation of a coalition. The release of the leader's mentor, former President Abdulla Yameen, on Thursday, after a court overturned his 11-year prison sentence for corruption and money laundering, is expected to strengthen Moiso.

India considers the archipelago part of its sphere of influence, but the Maldives fell into the orbit of China, its largest foreign creditor, with the election of Moizu.

Also in March, Malé signed a “military assistance” agreement with Beijing aimed at “strengthening bilateral relations,” according to the Maldivian Ministry of Defence.

Reproduction © Copyright ANSA

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