The victory of Mohammed Muizzu, a pro-China candidate, in the Maldives presidential election is a big shock for India. Muizzu’s victory is likely to have a negative impact on India-Maldives relations and could give China a greater foothold in the Indian Ocean.
Why is Muizzu’s victory a shock for India?
India has traditionally had close ties with the Maldives, but relations have deteriorated in recent years. In 2013, Abdulla Yameen, Muizzu’s political mentor, came to power in the Maldives and tilted the country’s foreign policy towards China. Yameen borrowed heavily from China and allowed China to build military infrastructure in the Maldives.
In 2018, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, a pro-India candidate, defeated Yameen in the presidential election. Solih worked to improve relations with India, but China continued to play a major role in the Maldives.
Muizzu’s victory is seen as a setback for India’s efforts to maintain close ties with the Maldives. Muizzu has criticized India’s role in the Maldives and has promised to strengthen ties with China.
What impact will Muizzu’s victory have on India-Maldives relations?
Muizzu’s victory is likely to lead to a cooling of India-Maldives relations. Muizzu has criticized India’s policies in the Maldives and has promised to review agreements with India. He has also said that he will ask India to withdraw its troops from the Maldives.
If Muizzu follows through on his promises, it could damage India’s strategic interests in the Indian Ocean. The Maldives is located in a strategically important location and gives India access to critical shipping lanes.
What can India do to mitigate the impact of Muizzu’s victory?
India should continue to engage with the Maldives government and try to build a constructive relationship with Muizzu. India should also work with other countries in the region, such as the United States and Japan, to counter China’s growing influence in the Indian Ocean.
India should also focus on strengthening its economic ties with the Maldives. India is the Maldives’ largest trading partner and provides significant economic assistance to the country. By deepening its economic ties with the Maldives, India can reduce the Maldives’ reliance on China.
Overall, Muizzu’s victory is a setback for India’s interests in the Maldives. However, India can still take steps to mitigate the impact of Muizzu’s victory and maintain close ties with the Maldives.