Peace should not be lost over election results: Maldives VP Latheef

A total of 602 ballot boxes have been set up in the Maldives and three other countries for the parliamentary election.

Male: Maldives Vice President Hussain Mohamed Latheef on Sunday underlined the need to maintain peace regardless of the outcome of the crucial parliamentary election, as he urged citizens and political parties to prioritise the interests of the nation.

Maldivians cast their ballots for the 20th People’s Majlis on Sunday, which is seen as a litmus test for President Mohamed Muizzu, whose policies will have a bearing on the Indian Ocean archipelagic nation’s relations with both India and China.

Speaking to reporters after casting his vote, Latheef expressed his desire for peace and unity among Maldivians, regardless of electoral outcomes, reported.

MS Education Academy

Stressing that peace remains a paramount aspiration for all citizens, Latheef urged individuals to prioritise the nation’s interests and directed the same message to political parties as well.

He also highlighted the significance of the parliamentary election for the Maldivian populace, noting their historical diligence in fulfilling civic duties, according to the report.

Latheef also underlined the importance of the current election, which is crucial for President Muizzu, seen as a pro-China politician.

Just a few days ahead of the polls, the opposition parties demanded a probe and impeachment of the president following a leaked report of his alleged corruption from 2018, a charge dismissed by Muizzu.

Besides, since Muizzu came to office, lawmakers have blocked three of his nominees to the cabinet.

Muizzu, who cast his vote at a polling station in the morning, urged every citizen to exercise their right to vote as soon as possible.

“Voting is a constitutional right and responsibility afforded to every citizen. All citizens should come out and exercise their right to vote as soon as possible. It is the responsibility of eligible voters to not wait until evening and quickly attend their respective polling stations to cast ballots,” he was quoted as saying by news portal.

Meanwhile, former President Abdulla Yameen on Sunday alleged that money was given to voters during the polling.

Speaking to reporters after voting, Yameen, a top leader of the People’s National Front, said the law, which makes bribery an offence, is unenforceable.

“They are distributing money here and there. I am not saying that distributing money is wrong. But it becomes wrong when it is a crime under the law. But what are we doing by making laws that cannot be enforced by the police or the state,” he was quoted as saying by portal.

Parliamentarians will be elected to a total of 93 seats in the Majlis, with 368 candidates contesting from six parties, including Muizzu’s People’s National Congress (PNC) and the main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), and as independents.

A total of 602 ballot boxes have been set up in the Maldives and three other countries for the parliamentary election. Polling stations are also open in 34 resorts, prisons, and other industrial islands.

The countries in which ballot boxes are placed for voting are Thiruvananthapuram in India, Colombo in Sri Lanka and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, media reports said.

The election in the Maldives also came amidst deteriorating ties between the archipelago nation and India since Muizzu, 45, assumed power in November last year. During last year’s presidential election, he had maintained a strident anti-India stand.

Back to top button