MALE, Maldives (AP) — The Latest on the Maldives’ presidential election (all times local):
Police in the Maldives say they have raided the main campaign office of the opposition presidential candidate on the eve of an election that is seen as a referendum on whether democracy will survive in the country.
Police spokesman Ahmed Shifan says police raided Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s campaign office late Saturday. He did not give any other details.
The move is a sign of a crackdown against the opposition by the government that has raised fears that Sunday’s election may be rigged to favor President Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s party.
Opposition supporters in the Maldives are demanding that officials ensure a free and fair presidential election, as the country prepares to vote in an election seen as a referendum on whether democracy will stay.
The archipelago nation’s election chief, Ahmed Shareef, said Saturday that all measures have been taken to hold Sunday’s election in a free and fair manner and without violence.
Still, opposition activists voiced fears that the polls may be rigged to favor President Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s party.
Beyond the postcard image the Maldives has of luxury resorts and white sand beaches, the 400,000 citizens of the former British protectorate have struggled to maintain the democratic system established in 2008.