Self-exiled former president Mohamed Nasheed will return to the country "soon", his party revealed Monday a day after the opposition alliance secured a surprise victory in Sunday's presidential elections.
Just a little over a quarter million people in the tropical island nation voted on Sunday in an election amid mounting international concerns for a lack of transparency and suppression of government critics.
The election widely regarded more as a referendum than an election saw incumbent president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom seeking re-election go against the veteran lawmaker Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.
Throughout Sunday, Solih maintained a healthy lead but pulled well clear as Yameen lost key electorates despite significant pledges of development in the next five years.
Shortly after president Yameen conceded defeat, main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) told local reporters that Nasheed will return to the country and his supporters soon.
Nasheed lives in self imposed exile most recently in Sri Lanka after he was allowed to leave to the UK on medical leave in an internationally brokered deal following his jailing on terrorism charges.
He was sentenced to 13 years in prison over the arbitrary arrest and subsequent detention of a sitting judge while he was president.
Solih who has been backed by Yameen's main political rivals including the now jailed former presidents Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, Nasheed along with Jumhoory Party leader and business tycoon Gasim Ibrahim.
Preliminary results from Sunday's election shows an overwhelming victory for the opposition alliance with Solih securing 58 percent of the votes.