Voting begins in crunch Maldives elections

Voting has officially kicked-off on Sunday morning at 08:00hrs across the Maldives islands as hundreds and thousands of locals flocked to exercise their constitutional right.

The 2018 presidential elections will see ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) candidate Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, who is seeking re-election, with his running-mate Dr. Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed contending against opposition backed presidential candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and his running-mate Faisal Naseem.

While voting had commenced almost on the dot of 08:00hrs on Sunday morning two ballot boxes due to some unforeseen circumstances will be open for voting a few minutes late. These ballot boxes include on at Sri Lanka and another at Gaaf Dhaal Thinadhoo.

Unlike previous presidential elections, this year's contest for top office will see only two candidates contesting.

Meanwhile the Maldives electoral watchdog announced all campaign activities to officially shutdown on 18:00hrs of Saturday evening.

In addition Broadcasting Commission of Maldives have advised all local media to refrain from airing campaign or propaganda content. The commission also urged all operating local media to adhere to Ant-Defamation and Freedom of Expression Act as well as Broadcasting Act.

BroadCom also advised to strongly stick by the code of practice and ethics while airing presidential elections coverage.