The European Union (EU) on Monday expressed its intent to work closely with the future government of President-Elect Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, who won this year's Presidential Election.
In a statement, the EU Foreign Affairs and Security Policy highlighted Solih's victory indicated by the provisional results of the election, and declared that the union will work with the future administration to further strengthen bilateral relations between the EU and Maldives.
EU also noted the extraordinary voter turnout this year, saying that the "high turnout of nearly 90% and the peaceful conduct of the elections on polling day reflect the commitment of the Maldivian people to democracy and their expectations, once the final results are published, of an orderly transfer of power in conformity with the Maldivian Constitution".
The union further touched upon the congratulations extended by incumbent President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom to the new president-elect, stating that it would pave the way for a smooth transition of power.
"The European Union will continue to closely review the situation in the Maldives, in line with the conclusions of the Foreign Affairs Council," read the statement.
The preliminary results of the presidential election tally at 134,146 votes (58.4 percent) for Solih who represents the opposition coalition, and 95,623 votes (41.6 percent) for incumbent President Yameen. The voter turnout at this year's election was an extraordinary 88.8 percent of the eligible 262,135.
Ties between the EU and Maldives weakened during President Yameen's administration, with EU Council adopting a framework to impose restrictive sanctions on government officials of Maldives that infringe human rights. Some of the sanctions include travel bans and freezing the assets of select targets. The EU had said that the actions would be implemented after gazetting the list of individuals to be sanctioned.