The recent election of Mohamed Muizzu as president of the Maldives highlights an imminent shift in the nation’s geopolitical stance, especially concerning the island’s relationships with China and India. Viewed as the decidedly more pro-China candidate, Muizzu has openly committed to removing foreign troops from the Maldives. In doing so, Muizzu indirectly alludes to India, which has maintained a discreet unit comprised of 75 Indian soldiers in the country. Despite the island’s small size and population, the situation in the Maldives serves as another reset of alliances and influence between China and India.
Mohamed Muizzu’s election win reflects several geopolitical and domestic implications for the Maldives. His campaign leveraged public sentiment against foreign military presence, primarily from India, establishing a platform emphasizing sovereignty and resistance to external influences. As a result, Muizzu’s campaign frequently invoked slogans such as “India Out,” a sharp contrast to incumbent President Ibu Solih and his “India First” foreign policy.