Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Just Getting Started

As we near the end of our massive electoral process, it's worthwhile to look at an example of young democracy in action.

Maldives President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom has conceded electoral victory to opposition leader Mohamed Nasheed.

Mr Gayoom, Asia's longest-serving leader, congratulated Mr Nasheed after final results were confirmed.

"I congratulate Anni [Mr Nasheed's popular name]," Mr Gayoom said in a radio address.
"I thank the people of the Maldives for allowing me to serve them for 30 years.

The two men jointly addressed the nation from the presidential office just hours after the results from the election were announced and agreed to work together for the good of the people.

"I wish to assure the public and the international community that the transition to democracy in the Maldives will be smooth and uninterrupted in governance," Mr Nasheed said as he shook hands with his former rival. "A test of our democracy will be how we treat Maumoon."

The outgoing environment minister said the elections had been a "very close race".
Abdullah Mausoom said the country's first "multiparty elections have been held freely and fairly".

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