Commonwealth group observes presidential election run-off in Maldives, as votes are cast at home and abroad

30 September 2023
Press release
Commonwealth Observer Group to the Maldives

The Commonwealth Observer Group is present as Maldivians, both at home and in the diaspora, vote for a second time to elect their President after none of the candidates won the required percent of the vote in the first round held on 9 September.

Not only have Commonwealth observers been stationed at polling stations in Maldives, but for the first time they are also observing abroad, as the Maldivian diaspora is also having its say in the run-off.

Maldivians living in India, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, the UAE and UK are among those who are voting in the second round of elections.

The race is between two contenders – the incumbent, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, who is the candidate of the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party, and Dr Mohammed Muizzu, the candidate of the coalition between the People’s National Congress and Progressive Party of Maldives.

In the Maldives, polls opened at 8am with queues forming up to an hour earlier. The polls will close at 5pm. Commonwealth observers will then watch the counting of votes and the tabulation of results.

The Chairperson of the Commonwealth Observer Group, former President of the Republic of Seychelles, H.E. Danny Faure, was at the Aminiya School polling station in Male to observe preparations for the opening of polling, and as ballots were cast.

He said:

“I am impressed with the conduct of the process that I have seen so far, and that is the general feedback from our observers who are scattered across the country.

“This second round of elections which is required by law, is part of democracy at work in the Maldives. I and the team are honoured to be back here again, to complete what we started. We call on all stakeholders to continue their calm and peaceful conduct. To the people of Maldives, both at home and among the Maldivian diaspora, we wish them well as they cast their ballots.”

Since the first round of elections was held three weeks ago, 409 more people have become eligible to vote. Either they newly registered or became old enough to exercise their democratic right between the two rounds of election.

A voter shows finger dyed with election ink after casting their vote in the presidential elections in Maldives
A voter shows a finger dyed with election ink after casting their vote in the presidential elections in Maldives.

The total number of people eligible to vote in the second round stands at 282,803.

After the polls close, counting of ballots will begin, with provisional results being announced and posted at polling stations well before the official announcement of results expected by 7 October.

The Commonwealth Observer Group was in Maldives from 2 to 15 September for the first round of elections, and returned on 27 September to the country for the second round. The Group will issue its interim statement on 2 October and depart on 4 October.

The Group’s final report containing its conclusions and recommendations will be shared at a later stage.

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Media contact

  • Temitope Kalejaiye  Public Relations and Engagement Officer, Governance and Peace Directorate, Commonwealth Secretariat
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