Maldives opposition leader Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on Monday won the island nation's presidential election in a stunning defeat of incumbent President Abdulla Yameen that caught many observers off guard.


Yameen, who cultivated close ties China to the dismay of regional power India, conceded defeat after the Election Commission said Solih had achieved victory with a margin of 16.7 percent.


"The citizens of the Maldives had their say ... and I accept that result," Yameen said.


The nation of less than half a million people has suffered a difficult transition to democracy since the end of three decades of authoritarian rule in 2008.


"This is a moment for happiness. This is a moment for hope," Solih told reporters late on Sunday night. "This is a moment of a history."


So, what's next? And does this mean that democracy will finally take hold? We talk to a panel of experts.

On this episode of The Stream, we speak with:

Jeffrey Waheed @JSWaheed
Deputy Ambassador, Maldives

Eva Abdulla @evattey
Member of Parliament, Maldives Democratic Party

Will Jordan @willjordan
Journalist, Al Jazeera Investigations



Read more: 

Maldives voters fear fraud as high-stakes eleciton looms - Al Jazeera English
Report exposes Maldives 'orgy of corruption' ahead of election - Al Jazeera English 

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