MALE, Maldives (AP) — The president-elect of the Maldives scored another victory Wednesday by securing a majority in Parliament after the Elections Commission restored 12 lawmakers who were earlier deemed to have lost their seats.
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih won last month's presidential election and is to be sworn in next month.
The restoration of the lawmakers in line with a Supreme Court order is a sign that Solih is consolidating his victory over outgoing strongman Yameen Abdul Gayoom, who appears to be losing his grip on state institutions.
Solih's opposition coalition will now have 43 members in the 85-member Parliament while Yameen's party will have 40.
The 12 lawmakers originally from Yameen's party joined the opposition last year after their party split. But the Elections Commission declared them disqualified to hold office because they had switched allegiance.
The disqualified lawmakers challenged the commission's decision in court.
Solih's victory in the Sept. 23 election is seen as a second chance for the archipelago state's young democracy, first established 10 years ago.
Since his election in 2013, Yameen rolled back many of the democratic gains. He wielded control over state institutions such as the courts, police, military, the bureaucracy and the Elections Commission.
He jailed most of his political rivals following trials that were criticized for lack of due process. Some have since been released on bail following Solih's victory.