In Maldives, polling is going on smoothly for election to 19th parliament. Voting began at 8 AM local time and will continue till 4 PM. A total of 501 centers have been set up across the island and abroad including one in Trivandrum for Maldivians staying there. Counting of votes will be held after the polling and preliminary results are expected by tomorrow.
This is the third parliamentary elections since Maldives adopted multi-party democracy in 2008. A total of 386 candidates are in the fray for 87 seats including former President Mohamed Nasheed and parliamentary speaker Qasim Ibrahim.
The main contest is between Maldives Democratic party (MDP) led by former President Mohammed Nasheed and opposition coalition led by former President Abdulla Yameen. MDP led by Mr Nasheed is contesting in majority of 85 seats while the main opposition Progressive Party of Maldives and its coalition partner People’s National Congress is contesting 45, the ruling coalition’s Jumhooree Party in 41, 10 from the Labour Party and 9 from the ruling coalition’s Adhaalath Party.
The results of the current election will have a bearing on the stability of government under President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. The President and Mr Nasheed are calling for MDP majority in parliament to ensure that the government remains stable.