General election in Maldives today

Maldives is voting today to elect representatives for 19th parliament. The month-long campaign for elections ended last evening with all parties and candidates holding their final rallies and meetings. Scores of Maldivians gathered at the seafront in capital Male on Friday to participate in their final rally on the eve of the island nation’s parliamentary election.

Waving flags in different hues they walked and rode bikes in groups, swaying to peppy campaign music. The city had closed down for the weekend and Friday prayers, but hours after lunch, the streets were teeming with people, as if it were a carnival.

A total of 386 candidates are in the fray for 87 seats including former President Mohamed Nasheed and parliamentary speaker Qasim Ibrahim. The main contest is between Maldives Democratic Party (MDP) led by former President Mohammed Nasheed and opposition coalition led by former President Abdulla Yameen.