Maldives' electoral body officially announces candidates for pres polls

Maldives' Elections Commission on Saturday officially announced the names of the candidates contesting the upcoming presidential elections and officially opened for campaigning.

The crunch elections slated for September 23 would be a two horse race between incumbent president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom 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.

Elections chief Ahmed Shareef officially announced the candidates and their running mates after the candidate order for the elections was picked by their representatives during a brief ceremony on Saturday.

Shareef also officially opened the elections for campaigning but warned that both candidates must be wary of anti-campaigning and defamation.

He assured that the elections commission would do everything possible to hold a free and fair elections and urged against making unsubstantiated claims to hinder such efforts.