In a crucial moment for the Maldives, voters are actively participating in a run-off election that holds significant implications for the nation’s democratic path and its relationships with major powers like China and India. The election pits President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, a proponent of an “India-first” approach, against Mohamed Muizzu, the former mayor of the capital, whose coalition had advocated for closer ties with China during their previous tenure from 2013-18.
Muizzu emerged as a surprising frontrunner during the initial round of voting on September 8, securing 46 percent of the votes, while President Solih, hindered by a fragmented Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) and low voter turnout, won 39 percent. Observers note that the outcome of this run-off has the potential to shape the future of the Maldives’ democracy and its geopolitical alliances, particularly concerning China and India.
Polling stations opened at 8 am local time (03:00 GMT) and will remain active until 5 pm (12:00 GMT). Swiftly following the conclusion of voting, counting will commence, with results expected to be disclosed within hours. The global community closely watches this election, recognizing its impact on the Maldives’ political landscape and regional relationships.