Maldives ruling party hints at election defeat challenge

Details have emerged that the Maldives ruling party could challenge its shock presidential election defeat to the opposition alliance on Sunday.

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.

Solih had 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.

On Monday, president Yameen went on air to concede defeat and has promised a smooth transition of power to his successor.

However, alleged screenshots of text messages sent to government lawmakers by chief government MP Ahmed Nihan Hussain Manik hinted that the ruling party is gearing up to challenge the election result.

"There are developments to come," one text message read.

In another text message, Nihan asks his fellow party MPs to send a list of people who have complained of being unable to vote in the elections.

The Villi-Maafannu MP Nihan was not immediately available for comment.

Following the allegations, the spokesperson for the president elect insisted that president Yameen was trying to make up excuses to challenge the result after accepting the "choice of the people."