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Maldives Holds Parliamentary Election

A Maldivian living in Sri Lanka casts her vote during the Maldives parliamentary election day at the Maldives embassy in Colombo, Sri Lanka, April 6, 2019.

Voters in the Maldives are going to the polls for a parliamentary election.

The Saturday vote is a pivotal one for President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. A coalition rift has stymied Solih’s push to restore democratic freedoms that had been rolled back by former president Abdullah Yameen.

“I want to stress that I would like the next parliament to be made up of members who are familiar with our polices and fully support it.” Solih said at a recent campaign rally.

Solih defeated Yameen last year despite Yameen’s seemingly clear path to re-election to a second five-year term with his main rivals either in jail or in exile.

The September presidential election was widely seen as a referendum on whether democracy would survive in the country.

Maldives is an archipelago of more than 1,000 islands and atolls in the Indian Ocean. It is known for its sandy white beaches and luxury resorts.