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Maldives election: Voting begins in controversial poll

ITN News Editor
By ITN News Editor September 23, 2018 13:39

Maldives election: Voting begins in controversial poll

The Maldives has started to vote in a heavily-criticised election that will be closely watched by India and China.The Indian Ocean archipelago is best-known overseas for its clear waters and high-end resorts but its government stands accused of crushing dissent.President Abdulla Yameen has embraced China, while his opponent, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, is seen as leaning towards India and the West.

The European Union and US have voiced concerns about the election.Both have threatened to impose targeted sanctions if the democratic situation does not improve.Police raided opposition headquarters on the eve of the vote, according to local reports.Polls opened at 08:00 (03:00 GMT) on Sunday. The Maldives is made up of 26 coral atolls and 1,192 islands, and tourism is a vital part of its economy. More than 400,000 people live there but its future hangs in the balance due to climate change.

ITN News Editor
By ITN News Editor September 23, 2018 13:39
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