Maldives to hold presidential runoff between pro-India, pro-China candidates

The Maldives is headed for a presidential runoff on September 30 between the pro-India incumbent and a pro-China opposition candidate.

The Indian Ocean country's Elections Commission says none of the eight candidates won a majority of votes in the first round of the presidential election on Saturday.

The top two finishers, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and opposition candidate Mohamed Muizzu, will compete in the runoff.

Solih won 39 percent of the votes, while Muizzu -- the mayor of the capital Male -- received 46 percent.

The Maldives is strategically located in the Indian Ocean. Neighboring India and China are jockeying to expand their influence over its economy and defense.

Which country the Maldives should favor has been a major campaign issue. Solih prefers India, while Muizzu wants to bolster ties with China.