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Maldives presidential election – as it happened

Rolling coverage of the Maldives presidential election.



The Maldives Criminal Court Monday night released five prisoners who were arrested during a controversial state of emergency, the latest development in a tumultuous 24 hours for the tropical island nation.

Earlier Monday President Abdulla Yameen conceded defeat to his opposition rival, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, who won the country’s 2018 presidential election.

The Elections Commission said the opposition candidate got 38,484 more votes than Yameen. EC chief Ahmed Shareef said there were no complaints or irregularities that could affect the outcome.

According to election law, the official result must be announced within seven days. The period is for a verification process once all ballot boxes are sent back to EC headquarters in the capital.

There were about 262,000 eligible voters and 472 ballot boxes, including five in four overseas locations.

It was the third multi-party presidential election in the Maldives.

Monday highlights:

  • Five prisoners freed. More to follow?
  • Ibu to meet Modi in New Delhi
  • Reaction from the European Union
  • Prisoners are brought to the Criminal Court, including former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom
  • Applications filed seeking immediate release of some prisoners
  • Has Yameen left the building?
  • Yameen concedes defeat
  • Yameen’s running mate congratulates Ibu
  • Foreign Ministry acknowledges election result, says Ibu is president
  • Elections Commission says Ibu won by more than 38,000 votes
  • India, US, Germany, UK react

09:00 – Overnight and morning headlines from local media:

PPM will now become the opposition party: Adhurey (Vnews)

Suood calls for Majlis Speaker and Chief Justice’s resignation for the country’s peace (Vnews)

Maumoon, Abdulla Saeed, Ali Hameed and Faris not freed (Vnews)

Ibu accepts Modi’s invitation to meet (Avas)

Sinan, Ilham, Nadheem and Areef freed (Avas)

Court releases Abdulla Riyaz (Avas)

Items lit on fire and burnt in President Yameen’s campaign office area (CNM)

Only President Yameen’s personal items transferred from Muliaage’ (CNM)

Gathering, voices raised claiming items brought out from Muliaage are being hidden (RaajjeTV)

Police not opposing freeing political prisoners from detention (Avas)

No actions in the spirit of revenge: coalition (PSM)No decision over the detention of Maumoon, 2 judges and Faris (Avas)

Nothing illegal taken from Muliaage: Spokesman (Mihaaru)

Many gather to see what was brought out from Muliaage (CNM)

Ibrahim Mohamed Solih meets supporters in Male’ (PSM)

MDA congratulates Ibu (CNM)

Will cooperate with the economic agenda of the new government: MNCCI (Avas)

Investor confidence renewed after the example set by Maldivians: Janah (Avas)

MACI congratulates Ibu (Avas)

Court to decide over case filed to release MP Abdulla Riyaz (Mihaaru)

Request filed for Mahloof and Moosa Siraj’s detention review (Avas)

Both judges, Areef and Ilham to be brought to court (Avas)

MP Sinan to be brought to court to decide detention period (CNM)

Decision over CP Areef’s release to be made today (CNM)

18 arrested from Kolamaafushi to be released today (Mihaaru)

To the court to free political prisoners (Mihaaru)

Nasheed will come to Male’ very soon: MDP (Avas)

Main tourism association MATI congratulates Ibu (Avas)

23:30 -The Criminal Court has released MPs Ilham Ahmed and Abdulla Sinan, along with former police chief Ahmed Areef, Gayoom’s son-in-law Mohamed Nadheem and ex-police chief and deputy leader of the opposition Jumhooree Party Abdulla Riyaz. All five were arrested on charges of terrorism during February’s state of emergency and were being held for trial.

Lawyers filed habeas corpus applications to secure their release.

But former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, his son Faris Maumoon, former chief Justice Abdulla Saeed, former justice Ali Hameed, and former judicial administrator Hassan Saeed were not freed.

The court reportedly postponed decisions on previous remand orders issued to hold them in custody for the terrorism trial, as they were convicted on various other charges and are serving jail sentences.

High Court hearings on the appeals on their convictions are expected to take place on Tuesday but have not been scheduled so far.

21:40 – India Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called Ibu to congratulate him on his victory.  He invited Ibu for a meeting as soon as possible, the Maldives president-elect told Raajje TV. Ibu accepted the invitation and Modi expressed his wish to repair strained relations and pledged assistance to restore democracy.

20:00 – The European Union, which said it would impose sanctions over rights and abuses, has welcomed the result of the presidential election. “The high turnout of nearly 90% and the peaceful conduct of the elections on polling day reflect the commitment of the Maldivian people to democracy and their expectations, once the final results are published, of an orderly transfer of power in conformity with the Maldivian Constitution. The congratulations extended by outgoing President Yameen pave the way for a smooth transition.”

18:45 – In the last few hours hundreds have gathered at Malé Criminal Court to get a glimpse of former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom. He was jailed in June for obstruction of justice – his family have been trying to get him transferred to house arrest because of his age and ill-health.

He was imprisoned by his half-brother, Abdulla Yameen. Gayoom is one of several political prisoners who have hearings at the court. Ex-police chief and deputy leader of the opposition Jumhooree Party Abdulla Riyaz, another of those swept up and arrested during a state of emergency, has been released. Riyaz, speaking outside court, said: “It turns out I am someone that scares President Yameen. He could not think of anyway he could face the election with me free. His predictions for the election were completely wrong…Nothing can be achieved by being a tyrant. President Yameen wanted re-election. He could not do that…”

“Our aim should be to make this a very successful government. A government that paves way for what the people want.

“It was Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s pledge to free all political prisoners. I was hoping to be freed on November 17 but it has happened much earlier than that. I don’t consider this as something done out of kindness by President Yameen.”

Other prisoners with hearings are Faris Maumoon, Gayoom’s son and Yameen’s nephew, and Mohamed Nadheem, Gayoom’s son-in-law. Yumna Maumoon, Gayoom’s daughter and Nadheem’s wife, is at court as is her mother Nasreena. People were shaking Yumna’s hand, saying her father would soon be released. The crowds are demanding Gayoom’s release and for Yameen to be arrested.

16:00 – The ruling party holds a press conference, with Ahmed Nihan modestly describing the election as “the most perfect and most organised election held in Maldives history despite allegations that we would rig the vote.” Party spokesman Ali Arif says  “all those allegations against President Yameen, calling him a corrupt thief, are nothing but baseless lies.”

The ruling party’s Abdul Raheem declares that nobody will try to leave the country. “We will remain in the country and work as the opposition party starting November 17.” It all seems too good to be true…

14:45 – The ruling party is having a huddle with Yameen.

– The Human Rights Commission of the Maldives says the presidential election was conducted freely and fairly.

14:20 – More local media headlines!

“Justice catching up with stealing and corruption is not slaughter of reputation/ defamation” (CNM)

Will stand with President Yameen even if lost: Abdul Raheem (CNM)

Applications submitted for President Maumoon, Faris and Nadheem’s immediate release (CNM)

President elections ended very peacefully: Police (PSM)

Stopped when tried to look into murder cases and Police: Maniu (CNM)

Believe [I] have to step aside from this service: President Yameen (RaajjeTV)

The people have made a decision, I accept that decision: President Yameen (RaajjeTV)

This is the result of letting go of loyalists and trusting those unknown: MP Riyaz (Mihaaru)

14:00 – Prominent lawyer Maumoon Hameed says he is seeking the immediate release of three high-profile prisoners. If you want to know more about who is locked up in the Maldives or in exile and why click here and here.

13:30 – “My five-year term has been a period in which we faced a lot of difficulties,” Yameen said in his concession speech. “I believe that no other president has faced any such difficulty. However, in every instance, I worked for the rights of the people. Every time I faced issues, which if I had given in to them, the rights of the people would be compromised. I worked to uphold the rule of law, and to prevent the effects of illegal acts from being felt by the people.

“There was a strong team who did sincere work with me. There were lawmakers who worked with me. I was helped the most, politically, by my wife. My wife and her team have been continuously doing strong work for three or four years. So, I sincerely would like to thank Madam Fathmath and her team.

“In the PPM office, under the two vice presidents, important work was being done. I sincerely thank this team. This team includes parliamentarians and councillors as well. I would have not been able to do any work, at all, if my cabinet had not cooperated with me. I am proud of that team.

“In front of the Maldivian people, my work was sincere. But yesterday the Maldivian people made their decision about me. So I have decided to accept the results and stay in service to the people in any way I can,” Yameen said.

13:00 – “Earlier today, I met with Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, who the Maldivian electorate has chosen to be their next president,” Yameen said. “I have congratulated him.”

Ahmed Nihan, who was earlier a little churlish about the poll outcome, has started sending emojis to the president-elect.

12:45 – Maldives Independent reporters say a liveried vehicle left the President’s Office moments ago. Only the state-run PSM was allowed inside the building for Yameen’s concession speech.

12:35 – Yameen concedes defeat! In a televised statement, he began by defending his track record. There was a need for a law to combat defamation. The administration had served the needs of the youth and elderly. He thanked supporters who valued his service, alleging that they did so after refusing gifts or inducements. “The Maldivian people made their decision yesterday. I have accepted that result,” he said. More on his statement as we get it.

12:30 – Yameen will address the nation shortly, says his spokesman.

12:10 – The Maldives press packed legged it to the President’s Office because election winner Solih went there – presumably to meet Yameen. While that was happening Yameen’s running mate congratulated Ibu, saying he was certain of the “positive changes” to the country under Ibu’s leadership. “I urge the beloved Maldivian people to unite and help Ibu govern the nation. Forward the Maldivian nation.” An English version of the tweet is here.

There was also a reaction from Ahmed Nihan, who did not quite pat Ibu on the back.

Fortunately UK ambassador James Dauris had something nice to say.

11:15 – The US embassy in Colombo has congratulated the Maldives and Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

Former foreign minister Dunya Maumoon, who is the daughter of jailed former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, has urged her uncle (President Abdulla Yameen) to “concede to the will of the Maldivian people.” Want to know more about this family? Click here.

10:50 – A major breakthrough in government reaction with the Maldives Foreign Ministry acknowledging the election result and calling Ibu president. “Candidate of the Maldivian Democratic Party, Member of Parliament Honourable Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, won the election, having received 134,616 votes. The President and Vice-President, elected today, will be sworn in on 17 November 2018,” reads a statement. Still nothing from the sitting president.

10:00 – German ambassador Jörn Rohde told the Maldives Independent he was happy the election was conducted in a calm and peaceful manner, noting the opposition candidate had “clearly won” according to local media and NGO reports.

“The election results expressed by the Maldives people need to be fully respected and… it is paramount for all stakeholders to maintain an environment conducive for a peaceful transfer of power,” he said.

Speaking of local media, here is a round-up of post-election headlines. Enjoy!

Ibu to President’s Office to meet President Yameen (CNM)

Government announces Ibu won the election (Mihaaru)

Shainee accepts defeat, “this is a new beginning” (Mihaaru)

JP leader Gasim Ibrahim sends warm congratulations to Ibu, Faisal and citizens of Maldives (Vnews)

Ibu to President Yameen: Release political prisoners immediately (Vnews)

Youth came out and brought down big cut-out of President Yameen (CNM)

This is a big shame, resign leadership: MP Hussain Manik (CNM)

President Yameen silent following election result (CNM)

Results are out, Ibu is celebrating (Avas)

Hope renewed, will go forward together: Yumna (Avas)

With the results PPM “strength” falls, disappears (Avas)

Maumoon’s MRM congratulates Ibu (Avas)

Congratulations, a historic victory for Ibu (Avas)

No issues that could change the result: EC (RaajjeTV)

With Ibu’s victory citizens celebrate on the streets (RaajjeTV)

Announcement of election official results will be complete by Sunday: Elections [Commission] (RaajjeTV)

Even after Airport opened Kulhudhuffushi said no to President Yameen! (RaajjeTV)

I am waiting for a call from President Yameen: Ibu (Mihaaru)

This is a shame, PPM leadership should resign: [MP] Redwave Saleem (Mihaaru)

Ibrahim Mohamed calls for change of power within the lawful requirements (PSM)

Will announce election official results within 7 days: Elections Commission (PSM)

09:45 – The first government reaction has come from Fisheries Minister Mohamed Shainee, who previously predicted the ruling party would win “above” 70 percent of the vote. The c word – concede – is not mentioned his tweet however.

His calls for forgiveness have been shot down by opposition lawmaker Eva Abdulla.

09:20 – The Elections Commission has endorsed the total tally of provisional results from polling stations. President Abdulla Yameen has 96,132 votes. Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has 134,616 votes. The total valid number of votes were 230,748. The invalid votes were 3,129. The total votes cast were 233,877. The turnout was 89.22 percent (of 262,135 eligible voters). The margin of victory in 2008 was about 15,000. In 2013 it was about 6,000.

07:30 – India’s Ministry of External Affairs is also in celebratory mood: “We welcome the successful completion of the third Presidential election process in the Maldives which, according to preliminary information, Mr. Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has won. “We heartily congratulate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on his victory and hope that the Election Commission will officially confirm the result at the earliest.

“This election marks not only the triumph of democratic forces in the Maldives, but also reflects the firm commitment to the values of democracy and the rule of law. In keeping with our ‘Neighbourhood First’ Policy, India looks forward to working closely with the Maldives in further deepening our partnership.” Want the background on India and the Maldives? Click here.

07:10 – And we have our first official reaction from the international community: “The United States congratulates the people of #Maldives, who peacefully raised their democratic voices to determine the future of their country… We urge calm and respect for the will of the people as the election process concludes.”

07:00 – Morning. State-owned Public State Media has been broadcasting the provisional results count from the Elections Commission. There has not been a peep from the ruling Progressive Party of the Maldives or the President’s Office even though there were indications earlier that the PPM would abide by the outcome. Even PSM gives Ibu 58.27 percent of the vote and President Abdulla Yameen 41.73 percent. The stream of the results is here.

01:30am – All eyes are on the Elections Commission, with its chief saying the vote went smoothly and peacefully and thanking candidates for their cooperation. “Tonight we will begin announcing the provisional results of the presidential election 2018,” Adam Shareef tells a news conference. “We will announce the official result within seven days as required by law. As I have said before, the official result will be announced before September 30, Sunday.” The EC will give the results, one ballot box at a time, before giving a total (provisional) tally.

01:00am – Opposition supporters take to the streets in the capital to celebrate and congratulations pour in for Ibu, as the Elections Commission holds a press conference. Hundreds are outside the Maldivian Democratic Party’s campaign centre, calling on the president to concede and chanting Ibu’s name.

00:30am – Ibu is at his campaign office, which was the scene of a police raid on Saturday. He declares victory and says: “This is a moment of happiness, a moment of hope. a moment of history. For many of us this has been a difficult journey, a journey that has led to prison cells or exile.

“It’s been a journey that has ended at the ballot box. I must thank all those people who have struggled for this cause.” He pledges to be a president for all Maldivians, regardless of who they voted for.

11:47pm – Avas
Abdulla Yameen: 41.6% (84,151 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih: 58.4% (118,326 votes)
Counted boxes: 437 /472
Turnout: 205,230 / 262,135

11:41pm – Elections Commission spokesman Ahmed Akram refused to comment on the results announced by media. The EC will begin announcing provisional results shortly.

11:35pm – With 90 percent of the 472 ballot boxes counted, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has a lead of about 30,000 votes, approximately the number of votes left to count.

Civil society groups and media outlets have called the election for Ibu.

11:22pm –

Abdulla Yameen 41.5% (79,775 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 58.5% (112,403 votes)
Total votes counted 194,784/262,135
Counted boxes 421/472

Abdulla Yameen 41.8% (77, 115 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 58.4% (107, 792 votes)
Total votes counted 262,135 /262,135
Counted boxes 405/472

Raajje TV
Abdulla Yameen 41.8% (73,512 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 58.2% (102,468 votes)
Counted boxes 389/472

Abdulla Yameen 42% (44,106 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 58% (60,586 votes)
Total votes counted 104,692 / 262,135
Counted boxes 242/472

10:40pm –

Abdulla Yameen 41.6% (71,106 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 58.4% (99,520 votes)
Total votes counted 172,881/262,135
Counted boxes 382/472

Abdulla Yameen 41.9% (69, 397 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 58.1% (96, 084 votes)
Total votes counted 167, 589/262,135
Counted boxes 370/472

Raajje TV
Abdulla Yameen 42.2%(62,935 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 57.8% (86,281 votes)
Counted boxes 340/472

10:31pm –

Abdulla Yameen 41.9% (67,987 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 58.1% (94,404 votes)
Total votes counted 164,641 / 262,135
Counted boxes 370/472

Abdulla Yameen 42.3% (65, 315 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 58.2% (89, 839 votes)
Total votes counted 156,456/262,135
Counted boxes 353/472

Raajje TV
Abdulla Yameen 42.1%(60,778 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 57.9% (83,429 votes)
Counted boxes 330/472

Abdulla Yameen 42% (33,104 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 58% (45,050 votes)
Total votes counted 78,154/262,135
Counted boxes 166/472

10:26pm – With more than half of ballot boxes counted, opposition figures have started congratulating “president-elect” Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

Abdulla Yameen 41.8% (65,248 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 58.2% (90,916 votes)
Total votes counted 158,327/262,135
Counted boxes 360/472

Abdulla Yameen 42.1% (60,718 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 57.9% (83,371 votes)
Total votes counted 145, 908/262,135
Counted boxes 332/472

Raajje TV
Abdulla Yameen 42.3% (58,087 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 57.7% (79,276 votes)
Counted boxes 319/472

10:14pm –

Abdulla Yameen 41.7% (58,987 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 58.3% (82,319 votes)
Total votes counted 134,960/262,135
Counted boxes 143,281/262,135

Abdulla Yameen 41.9% (58, 750 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 58.1% (81,436 votes)
Total votes counted 141, 946/262,135
Counted boxes 324/472

Raajje TV
Abdulla Yameen 42.6% (48,634 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 57.4% (65,604 votes)
Counted boxes 281/472

Abdulla Yameen 43% (28,001 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 57% (38,232 votes)
Total votes counted 66,233/262,135
Counted boxes 166/472


Abdulla Yameen 42.0% (55,895 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 58.0% (77,215 votes)
Total votes counted 134,960/262,135
Counted boxes 319/472

Abdulla Yameen 41.9% (55, 380 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 58.1% (76, 853 votes)
Total votes counted 133, 612 / 262135
Counted boxes 310/472

Raajje TV
Abdulla Yameen 42.3% (46,421 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 57.7% (63,223 votes)
Counted boxes 271/472

Abdulla Yameen 43% (25,939 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 57% (35,008 votes)
Total votes counted 60,947/262,135
Counted boxes 155/472

10:00pm –

Abdulla Yameen 42.2% (51,226 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 57.8% (70,270 votes)
Total votes counted 123,106/262,135
Counted boxes 299/472

Abdulla Yameen 42.4% (49, 787 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 57.6% (67, 633 votes)
Total votes counted 118,885/262,135
Counted boxes 284/472

Raajje TV
Abdulla Yameen 42.5% (40,323 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 57.5% (54,553 votes)
Counted boxes 244/472

Abdulla Yameen 43% (23,711 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 57% (31,220 votes)
Total votes counted 54,931 / 262,135
Counted boxes 141/472

9:53pm –

Abdulla Yameen 42.1% (47,240 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 57.9% (64,857 votes)
Total votes counted 113,581/262,135
Counted boxes 279/472

Abdulla Yameen 42.3% (47, 914 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 57.7% (65,226 votes)
Total votes counted 114,539 /262,135
Counted boxes 275/472

Raajje TV
Abdulla Yameen 42.5% (38,686 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 57.5% (52,306 votes)
Counted boxes 236/472

9:45pm – With the results holding steady and Ibu maintaining a strong leader, MP Ahmed Nihan has tweeted that the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives “will have the courage to accept the decision of the Maldivian people, win or lose.”

9:41pm –

Abdulla Yameen 42.3% (40,834 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 57.7% (55,708 votes)
Total votes counted 97,797/262,135
Counted boxes 249 /472

Raajje TV
Abdulla Yameen 42.6% (31,342 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 57.2% (39,557 votes)
Counted boxes 198/472

9:38pm –

Abdulla Yameen 42.5% (38,873 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 57.5% (52,691 votes)
Total votes counted 92,758 / 262,135
Counted boxes 239/472

Abdulla Yameen 42.4% (39, 509 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 56.9 % (53, 094 votes)
Total votes counted 93,271/262,135
Counted boxes 237/472

Raajje TV
Abdulla Yameen 42.8% (29,578 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 57.2% (39,557 votes)
Counted boxes 189/472

9:34pm –

Abdulla Yameen 42.4% (36,475 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 57.6% (49,541 votes)
Total votes counted 87,141/262,135
Counted boxes 229/472

Abdulla Yameen 42.4% (37, 555 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 57.6 % (51,008 votes)
Total votes counted 89,656/ 262135
Counted boxes 230/472

Raajje TV
Abdulla Yameen 42.7% (27,521 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 57.3% (36,948 votes)
Counted boxes 180/472

Abdulla Yameen 44% (15,613 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 56% (14,553 votes)
Total votes counted 35,593/262,135
Counted boxes 102/472

9:30pm –

Abdulla Yameen 42.6% (33,373 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 57.4% (44,956 votes)
Total votes counted 79,360/262,135
Counted boxes 214/472

Abdulla Yameen 42.6% (33414 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 58.2 % (45593votes)
Total votes counted 79,987/ 262,135
Counted boxes 211/472

Raajje TV
Abdulla Yameen 42.6% (24,288 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 57.4% (32,727 votes)
Counted boxes 164/472

9:22pm –

Abdulla Yameen 42.8% (30,722 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 57.2% (40,982 votes)
Total votes counted 72,670 / 262,135
Counted boxes 202/472

Abdulla Yameen 42.4% (30246 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 57.6 % (41100 votes)
Total votes counted 72,227/ 262,135
Counted boxes 196/472

Raajje TV
Abdulla Yameen 43.1% (22,159 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 56.9% (29,295 votes)
Counted boxes 153/472

Abdulla Yameen 45% (11,748 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 55% (14,553 votes)
Total votes counted 26,301/262,135
Counted boxes 82/472

9:15pm –

Abdulla Yameen 42.2% (25,962 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 57.8% (35,580 votes)
Total votes counted 62,336/262,135
Counted boxes 180/472

Abdulla Yameen 42.3% (24650 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 57.7 % (33684 votes)
Total votes counted 59,049/ 262135
Counted boxes 171/472

Raajje TV
Abdulla Yameen 42.3% (19,052 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 57.7% (26,005 votes)
Counted boxes 140/472

Abdulla Yameen 45% (9,756 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 55% (11,801 votes)
Total votes counted 21,557/262,135
Counted boxes 71/472

9:10pm –

Abdulla Yameen 41.6% (19,803 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 58.4% (27,814 votes)
Total votes counted 48,169/262,135
Counted boxes 151/472

Abdulla Yameen 42.1% (20971 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 57.9 % (28867 votes)
Total votes counted 50,448/ 26,2135
Counted boxes 115/472

Raajje TV
Abdulla Yameen 41.8% (14,389 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 58.2% (20,057 votes)
Counted boxes 100/472

Abdulla Yameen 45% (7,100 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 55% (8,752 votes)
Total votes counted 15,852 / 262,135
Counted boxes 56/472

9:00pm –

Abdulla Yameen 41.2% (10,990 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 58.8% (15,713 votes)
Total votes counted 27,000/262,135
Counted boxes 98/472

Abdulla Yameen 41.5% (12135 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 58.5 % (17127 votes)
Total votes counted 29,615/ 26,2135
Counted boxes 104/472

Raajje TV
Abdulla Yameen 40.9% (11,775 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 59.1% (17,033 votes)
Counted boxes 100/472

Abdulla Yameen 46% (5,395 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 54% (6,420 votes)
Total votes counted 11,815 / 262,135
Counted boxes 46/472

8:51pm –

Abdulla Yameen 41.5% (7385 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 58.5% (10,395 votes)
Total votes counted 17,988/262,135
Counted boxes 72/472

Raajje TV
Abdulla Yameen 41.5% (5740 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 58.5% (8078 votes)
Counted boxes 60/472

Abdulla Yameen 41.6% (8721 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 58.4 % (12234 votes)
Total votes counted 21,189/ 262135
Counted boxes 81/472

Abdulla Yameen 47% (3768 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 53% (4319 votes)
Total votes counted 8,087/262,135
Counted boxes 36/472

8:40pm – More results are coming in an hour after vote counting started.

Abdulla Yameen 47% (2,292 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 53% (2,591 votes)
Total votes counted 4,883
Counted boxes 24/472

Abdulla Yameen 39.6% (4533 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 60.4% (6909 votes)
Total votes counted 11552 / 262135
Counted boxes 52/472

Abdulla Yameen 40.8% (5930 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 59.2% (8588 votes)
Turnout 14,680/262,135
Counted boxes 61/472

Raajje TV
Abdulla Yameen 40.3% (4419 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 59.7% (6558 votes)
Counted boxes 50/472

8:26pm – State media has started reporting with boxes that show President Yameen in the lead.

Abdulla Yameen 56% (637)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 44% (492)
Total votes counted 1,129
Counted boxes 5/472

Abdulla Yameen 31.5% (1428 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 68.5% (3099 votes)
Counted box 30/472
Turnout: 4580/262135

Abdulla Yameen – 34.3 percent (1950 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih – 65.7 percent (3728 votes)
Counted box: 34/472
Turnout: 5,739/262,135

Raajje TV
Abdulla Yameen 37.3% (1888 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih 62.7% (3173 votes)
Counted boxes 30/472

8:11pm – Media outlets have started reporting results relayed by their monitors at polling stations. The first results of the night came in from resort ballot boxes with Ibu leading with above 80 percent on most islands. The state-owned Public Service Media has not reported any results so far on their live coverage.

Abdulla Yameen: 25% (438 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih: – 75% (1317 votes)
Counted boxes: 15 /472
Turnout: 1,774 / 262,135

Abdulla Yameen: 26.7% (441 votes)
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih: 73.3% (1208 votes)
Counted boxes: 14
Turnout: 1667 / 262135

Raajje TV
Abdulla Yameen: 548 votes
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih: 1289 votes
Counted boxes: 15/472

7:46pm – Elections officials are using UV lights to check ballots during the counting process in some polling stations, according to media reports.

7:42pm – Vote counting is under way in most polling stations.

7:26pm – With vote counting due to begin, people are on the streets in Malé’s main thoroughfare. When it started raining, raincoats were handed out. Food parcels are also being distributed. The opposition coalition has urged supporters to remain on the streets near polling stations until results are announced.

7:15pm – Queues are closed and vote counting will begin half an hour after the ballot boxes are sealed.

7:05pm – Elections officials are closing ballot boxes in polling stations where there are no queues. Voters can no longer join the queue after 7pm.

6:58pm – Polls are due to close in two minutes but people in the queue will be allowed to vote. There are still queues outside some polling stations in Malé. A voter told the Maldives Independent he just voted in an Addu City ballot box after waiting in line at the City Hall in the capital since 2:30pm.

Election law states that those waiting in line by the time polls close are entitled to cast their vote and that ballot boxes should be sealed once everyone in the queue has deposited their voting slip.

6:37pm – Opposition figures are sharing allegations on social media about gangs planning to attack polling stations to disrupt vote counting.

Earlier in the day, the Meraki coffeeshop in Malé closed down after a group barged inside and threatened customers.

6:30pm – NGO Women & Democracy, which has been observing the polls, have reported several irregularities, including the names of three deceased people on the list of voters in Lhaviyani Kurendhoo and one deceased person in Haa Alif Utheem. The names on the Kurendhoo list were removed.

An extra ballot box was “kept aside” at a Gaaf Alif Kolamaafushi polling station and a woman’s name was missing from a Machchangoalhi North ballot box. But she was able to voter after the NGO assisted her with lodging a complaint.

6:12pm – With less than an hour before polls close, crowds have thinned out at most polling stations in Malé. There are no long queues of people standing outside schools and government buildings, including Huravee building, Gaazee building, Dharumavantha School, the customs building, and the department of examinations.

5:18pm – A voter in Colombo told the Maldives Independent he waited in line for eight hours to cast his ballot. The situation was similar in Kuala Lumpur, where people fainted while waiting, and some voters have been waiting for more than eight hours.

5:02pm – According to Raajje TV, which has monitors throughout the country, the turnout on most islands has reached 85 percent. With polls due to close in two hours, there are no queues at most polling stations.

4:43pm – Azleen Hassan, vice president of the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party’s Gaaf Alif Villigili branch, was arrested while he was in the queue waiting to vote on the southern island, a police spokesman has confirmed. A source familiar with the matter told the Maldives Independent that police had been searching for him since a warrant was issued for his arrest a week ago.

4:32pm – “No incidence of irregularity has been reported across the country, so far,” the foreign ministry said in a statement. Voting time has been extended by three hours “to allow maximum number of eligible voters to vote.”

4:o1pm – None of the monitors registered by Raajje TV to monitor polling in jails has been allowed into prison polling stations. The station has filed a case with the EC complaints mechanism: COO Hussain Fiyaz Moosa.

4:00pm – Police officers are active in all polling stations. The situation across the country was calm and peaceful, police reported on a live blog for the ‘Operation Blue Wave.’

“No major problems reported,” police tweeted around 3pm.

3:58pm – The Elections Commission does not have an update on the turnout, which reached 38 percent by noon, according to spokesman Ahmed Akram. More than 100,000 people cast their ballots by 12pm.

3:48pm – The Elections Commission has extended the closing time from 4pm to 7pm amid complaints about long queues at polling stations. The decision was made at an official meeting of the five-member electoral body, it was announced less than half an hour before polls were due to close.

Photo: MDP handout/Munshid