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Maldives ex-leader makes comeback in landmark vote


MALE, MALDIVES: The Maldives on Saturday held its first parliamentary election since former strongman leader Abdulla Yameen was pressured to stand down, together with his arch-rival tipped to make a big political comeback.

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih appealed for a prime turnout as surprisingly sizzling weather noticed slow balloting early in the day. Voting was extended for two hours to encourage the public to return out.


Election officers estimated the overall turnout to be between 70 and 80 according to cent, down from the 89 according to cent recorded at the September presidential election which swiftly toppled Yameen.

"I urge Maldivians to go out and vote," Solih stated after balloting in the capital, Male, where his Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) fielded former president Mohamed Nasheed as a candidate.

Nasheed, 51, is the prime profile contender for the 87-member People's Majlis, or parliament this is elected for five years. Over 385 candidates are in the fray. The first effects are expected on Sunday.

Nasheed returned from an enforced exile in another country after his deputy Solih's surprising victory in September.

Solih stated he expected Saturday's ballot to go back a strong legislature led by way of his MDP. Nasheed is predicted to wield really extensive influence in any new govt.

He solid his ballot in Male, but made no comment.

The opposition coalition that helped Solih win has since come aside, with constituent events going their separate tactics for Saturday's election.

Solih has then again made it clear that he wants an MDP-led govt.

"I want to stress that I would like the next parliament to be made up of members who are familiar with our policies, and fully support it," Solih informed a marketing campaign rally on Thursday evening.

Nasheed was jailed for 13 years on a debatable terrorism price when Yameen was in power. However, the conviction was overturned last 12 months after the presidency modified.

Election commissioner Ahmed Shareef informed newshounds that there had been no lawsuits of irregularities in the runup to the vote.

Voting came about for in another country Maldivians in neighbouring India and Sri Lanka, in addition to London.


Former president Yameen was not a candidate, but his Progressive Party of Maldives was observed as the principle challenger to the MDP.


Last week, the prime courtroom ordered authorities to lift a freeze on Yameen's financial institution accounts retaining about $6.5 million. But it stated a money laundering case against him would continue.


Yameen gained the payments just earlier than he lost his re-election bid in September. Since then, all dissidents have returned to the Indian Ocean archipelago and maximum have had their convictions quashed.


The Maldives was on the verge of being slapped with Western-led sanctions earlier than Solih won the presidential election on a pledge to end corruption in the nation easiest recognized for its luxurious tourism.


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