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POSTED AT 07:04 AM 24-09-2018

extended voting at Maldives election

Maldivian expatriates residing in Colombo were seen at the Maldivian Embassy located at Melbourne Avenue, Bambalapitiya last morning to cast their vote to choose the next President of Maldives. The Maldives started to vote for the high stakes Presidential

Polling booths in the Maldives closed Sunday after three hours of extended voting.

An election official said voting was extended due to technical glitches involving electronic voter registers, as well as a heavy voter turnout.

More than 260,000 of the 400,000 citizens of the Maldives were eligible to vote at about 400 polling stations across the islands that comprise the Indian Ocean archipelago.

Incumbent President Yameen, of the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), is seeking a second term on the platform of development for all, running against senior lawmaker Ibrahim Mohamed Solih who is backed by a coalition of opposition parties, led by the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP).

The Maldives Election Commission had set up as many as 472 ballot boxes, including at four polling stations abroad in India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and the United Kingdom.

Emphasising that the elections were held by the rule book, Ahmed Akram, Commissioner and spokesperson at the Maldives Elections Commission, said nobody can prove any malpractice or lapse. Amidst growing scepticism over the Commission’s independence, Akram told The Hindu from Male over telephone, “I don’t know how they [critics] define free and fair election. As far as we are concerned, each and everything we have done is by law and regulation.”