Maldives government has declared September 23 a public holiday to allow people to vote in the presidential elections slated for that day.
President's Office spokesperson Ibrahim Muaz Ali in a Tweet said incumbent president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom had declared Sunday, September 23 a public holiday to allow people to vote without work related commitments.
The decision came after the country's top court rejected a motion to declare elections day a public holiday.
The crunch elections would be a two horse race between President Yameen who is seeking re-election and opposition alliance candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih who has been backed by Yameen's main political rivals including the now jailed former presidents Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and Mohamed Nasheed.
Unlike in previous elections, the presidential race would be decided in the first round and is widely seen more as a 'referendum' with a straight choice between the opposition and the government more than an election.