Maldives election begins amid opposition cry of unfairness

2018-09-23 07:56

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Male — Voting has started in the Maldives in a presidential election that is widely seen as a referendum on the island nation's young democracy.

President Yameen Abdul Gayoom cast his ballot in the capital, Male, about 40 minutes after polls opened. Huge crowds flocked to closely guarded polling stations.

Gayoom has been criticised for cracking down on freedoms. He used his first term to consolidate power, jailing opponents, including his half brother, a former president, and two Supreme Court Justices, or forcing them into exile and asserting control over the courts.

Police raided the opposition presidential candidate's main campaign office on Saturday evening, citing a warrant to search for evidence of vote-buying.

Members of the opposition decried the raid, saying the election could be rigged in favour of Gayoom.


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