Maldives pres set to debate alone after opposition snub

Incumbent president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom is set to participate in the presidential debate scheduled for later Sunday despite the decision by his election rival and opposition alliance presidential candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih's decision to snub the debate.

President's Office confirmed president Yameen would attend the debate organized by state media corporation Public Service Media (PSM) in collaboration with the country's national university ahead of the crunch elections next Sunday.

Veteran lawmaker Solih had snubbed the invite for the debate questioning its sincerity after president Yameen rejected the invitation extended by opposition aligned Raajje TV for a debate between the two candidates.

The elections widely seen as a referendum more than an elections, would be a two horse race between president Yameen who is seeking re-election and opposition alliance candidate Solih who has been backed by Yameen's main political rivals including the now jailed former presidents Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and Mohamed Nasheed.