Maldives goes to the polls on Sept 23 | The Daily Star
12:55 AM, June 09, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:56 AM, June 09, 2018

PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

Maldives goes to the polls on Sept 23

The Maldives has set the date for its next presidential election with incumbent Abdulla Yameen in a commanding position -- and his two main rivals either in jail or exiled abroad.

Voters in the Indian Ocean archipelago will go to the polls on September 23, officials said late Thursday, with election authorities to accept candidate nominations next month.

But Yameen has moved against potential rivals since winning a controversial runoff vote against then-president Mohamed Nasheed in 2013, launching a crackdown on dissent that has seen two of the country's former leaders put behind bars.

Nasheed was convicted on a terrorism charge in 2015 and handed a 13-year jail sentence.  Nasheed plans to contest in the polls, but election laws prevent anyone with a criminal conviction from contesting.

Colombo-based MDP official Omar Razak said Nasheed will campaign through social media as he cannot return home.

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