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Last updated : 5 months ago

2023 presidential election: PNC's candidate Muizzu leads polls

Summary

Maldives votes in the highly contested 2023 presidential election.

282,395 people are eligible to vote in the presidential election on Saturday, including over 27,000 first-time voters.

This year’s election is seeing the greatest number of candidates to date – with eight presidential hopefuls.

This includes five candidates from political parties, and three independent candidates.

They are: President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih -who is running for re-election on behalf of the main ruling MDP; the Male’ City mayor Dr. Mohamed Muizzu - who is running on behalf of the opposition PPM-PNC coalition; Qasim Ibrahim - who is running on behalf of JP; Colonel (Retired) Mohamed Nazim – who is running on behalf of MNP, and Ilyas Labeel – who is running on behalf of The Democrats.

20:48

Opposition PNC's candidate Dr. Mohamed Muizzu continues to lead the polls as voting continues. Remaining candidates follow behind him as below; 

MDP's candidate President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih in 2nd 

The Democrats' candidate Ilyas Labeeb in 3rd 

Independent candidate Umar Naseer in 4th 

Jumhoory Party's candidate Qasim Ibrahim in 5th 

Independent candidate Faris Maumoon in 6th 

Maldives National Party's candidate Mohamed Nazim in 7th 

Independent candidate Hassan Zameel in 8th 

Officials count votes in 2023's presidential election. (Sun Photo/Muaviyath Anwar)
19:44
19:21

The preliminary results of 133 out of 574 ballot boxes place opposition PPM-PNC coalition’s candidate Dr. Mohamed Muizzu with a slim lead over President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

1. Umar Naseer (Independent): 2.34 percent (905 votes)

2. Hassan Zameel (Independent): 0.13 percent (51 votes)

3. President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih (MDP): 41.21 percent (15,954 votes)

4. Dr. Mohamed Muizzu (PPM-PNC): 44.77 percent (17,332 votes)

5. Qasim Ibrahim (JP): 2 percent (776 votes)

6. Ahmed Faris Maumoon (Independent): 1.07 percent (414 votes)

7. Ilyas Labeeb (The Democrats): 7.25 percent (2,806 votes)

8. Colonel (Retired) Mohamed Nazim (MNP): 1.23 percent (475 votes)

18:46
18:37
17:58

The turnout in the election was around 75 percent – the lowest in a presidential election.

17:57

The preliminary results of 32 out of 574 ballot boxes place President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih in a slim lead over opposition PPM-PNC coalition’s candidate Dr. Mohamed Muizzu.

1. Umar Naseer (Independent): 2.56 percent (135 votes)

2. Hassan Zameel (Independent): 0.28 percent (15 votes)

3. President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih (MDP): 42.63 percent (2,247 votes)

4. Dr. Mohamed Muizzu (PPM-PNC): 42.42 percent (2,236 votes)

5. Qasim Ibrahim (JP): 1.73 percent (91 votes)

6. Ahmed Faris Maumoon (Independent): 0.57 percent (30 votes)

7. Ilyas Labeeb (The Democrats): 9.03 percent (476 votes)

8. Colonel (Retired) Mohamed Nazim (MNP): 0.78 percent (41 votes)

17:03

A person is detained from the polling station at Ameeniya School for creating a disturbance.

17:00

Poll workers begin counting ballots from some of the ballot boxes.

16:53

Queues remain long at ballot boxes for Fuvahmulah constituents and M. Atoll constituents at the polling station in Iskandhar School in Male’.

16:50

All six people detained in election-related incidents have been released from police custody.

16:19

Several ballot boxes have now been sealed.

Ballot boxes are sealed as polling closes at the 2023 presidential election on September 9, 2023. (Sun Photo)
16:05

Poll workers close queues at polling stations.

Latest statistics show the voter turnout was 58 percent.

EC’s vice chairman Ismail Habeeb says the commission will not extend voting time.

15:36

Long queues at ballot boxes for Fuvahmulah constituents and M. Atoll constituents at the polling station in Iskandhar School in Male’.

Voters queued at a polling station in Iskandhar School in Male' during the 2023 presidential election on September 9, 2023. (Sun Photo)
15:22

Voter turnout rises to 58 percent, as of 02:00 pm.

15:20
14:31

Six people were detained in election-related cases. Two remain in police custody.

14:24

Voter turnout as of 01:00 pm stands at 47.95 percent.

135,422 people have voted; including 69,261 females and 66,161 males.

14:04

Independent presidential candidate Umar Naseer casts his ballot.

The former home minister cast his ballot at a polling station at the Islamic University of Maldives (IUM) in Male’.

He is the last of the eight candidates contesting the election to cast their ballot.

13:51

MDA’s leader Ahmed Siyam Mohamed casts his ballot.

MDA's leader Ahmed Siyam Mohamed casts ballot at a polling station in the Sun Siyam Olhuveli during the 2023 presidential election on September 9, 2023. (Sun Photo)

Siyam, who represents the Dh. Meedhoo constituency at the Parliament, cast his ballot at the polling station in the Sun Siyam Olhuveli.

13:45

EC says it has received 14 complaints, including complaints regarding people taking photos of the ballot paper while voters at the booth.

EC's vice chairman Ismail Habeeb said the commission is considering a change to the layout of voting booths, if the election goes to a run-off.

13:42

EC says that a person who is alive was registered as deceased on the Department of National Registration (DNR)’s official records, and denying the person the right to vote.

13:41

Voter turnout at 39 percent

EC’s vice chairperson Ismail Habeeb told reporters that the voter turnout is currently at 39 percent, prompting concerns of long last-minute queues.

Habeeb said the commission is identifying polling stations with long queues, and transferring poll workers from stations with shorter queues, in order to speed up the polling.

He said the commission is making arrangements to avoid long last-minute queues, which could delay poll closing time.

13:39

EC holds a press conference to provide updates.

12:25

A large number of police officers are deployed to maintain security near polling stations.

12:20

Vice President Faisal Naseem casts ballot. 

12:20
12:20
11:49

Former Maldivian president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom casts his ballot.

Former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom casts ballot at a polling station in Male’ during the 2023 presidential election on September 9, 2023. (Sun Photo/Aishath Hidhaya)

Maumoon, who ruled the Maldives for over 30 years, cast his ballot at a polling station in Ameeniya School.

Former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom casts ballot at a polling station in Male’ during the 2023 presidential election on September 9, 2023. (Sun Photo/Aishath Hidhaya)

His son, Ahmed Faris Maumoon, is running in the election as an independent presidential candidate.

11:31
11:25

Former Maldivian president Dr. Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik casts his ballot.

11:09

EU observers are visiting polling stations in Vilimale'.

10:58

The polling station at the Mohamed Qasim Pre-School is seeing far lower numbers than the rest of the polling stations in Hulhumale’.

10:56

Speaking to reporters outside the polling station, President Solih said he expects a turnout if 88-90 percent in this election.

He said that the election is going smoothly, and will be the most democratic election to be held in Maldivian history.

He also denied allegations MDP distributed money to voters.

MDP will not distribute money.

President Solih

10:47

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih casts his ballot.

10:44
10:26

EC’s statistics show 36,163 people have cast their votes by 10:00 am. This includes 22,403 males, and 13,760 females.

10:25
10:20

Independent presidential candidate, Ahmed Faris Maumoon casts ballot.

Speaking to reporters outside the polling station, the MRM president urged everyone to do their civic duty and vote.

He said the vote is an important decision to shape the country’s future.

“This is a very important decision to shape the future,” he said.

Faris said the people must vote for the candidate of their choice and have their say in the country’s future.

10:08

Democrats’ presidential candidate, Hulhudhoo MP Ilyas Labeeb casts his ballot. He cast his ballot into the box for Addu constituents at the polling station in Kalaafaanu School in Male’.

10:00
09:51
09:46

Police say they have not received reports of any election-related violence so far.

09:45

EC warns that monitors that using their cameras to zoom-in and take pictures of ballot papers is a criminal offense.

The commission said that monitors found to commit such acts will have their monitor pass revoked and get expelled from polling stations.

09:36

PNC’s presidential candidate, Dr. Muizzu urgers voters not to wait until the last minute, and vote for the candidate of their choice, as soon as possible.

09:36
09:36
09:25

First Lady Fazna Ahmed casts her ballot.

09:20

Elections Commission (EC) says polling has begun in all stations, except for in London and Abu Dhabi.

09:10
09:07

Opposition PNC candidate Dr. Mohamed Muizzu casts his ballot. The Male’ City mayor cast his ballot at a polling station in Thaajuddin School.

08:56

JP’s presidential candidate Qasim Ibrahim casts his ballot.

The Maamigili MP, who contested in both the 2013 and the 2018 elections, cast his ballot into the box for West Maafannu constituents at a polling station at the Social Center.

08:50

Polling didn’t begin at the polling station in Vilimale’ for constituents of other islands until 08:45 am due to a shortage of ballot papers.

742 voters were registered to the box, but the station only had 737 ballot papers.

Voting began after more ballot papers were brought in.

08:43

PNC’s leader Abdul Raheem Abdulla (Adhurey), the interim leader of the opposition PPM-PNC coalition, has cast his ballot.

Other top PPM-PNC officials have also begun arriving in polling stations.

08:43

Opposition PNC’s running mate, MP Hussain Mohamed Latheef (Sembe) casts his vote. He cast his ballot into the box for GDh. Atoll constituents at a polling station in Thaajuddin School.

08:10
08:05

No issues have been reported from any of the polling stations so far.

08:05

Polling has begun in the vote to elect Maldives’ president for the next five years. Polling began at 08:00 am and is set to close at 04:00 pm.

08:01
08:00
07:58
07:50
07:50
07:48

07:47

Polls open at 08:00 am. However, some voters began queueing at several polling stations in Male’ City around 07:00 am.