Maldives sets presidential vote with opposition in jail or exile

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COLOMBO, JUNE 08
The Maldives has set the date for its next presidential election with incumbent Abdulla Yameen in a commanding position — and his two main rivals either in jail or exiled abroad.
Voters in the Indian Ocean archipelago will go to the polls on September 23, officials said late Thursday, with election authorities to accept candidate nominations next month.
But Yameen has moved against potential rivals since winning a controversial runoff vote against then-president Mohamed Nasheed in 2013, launching a crackdown on dissent that has seen two of the country’s former leaders put behind bars.
Nasheed was convicted on a terrorism charge in 2015 and handed a 13-year jail sentence. He was allowed to go to London in 2016 for medical treatment and has remained there in exile since.
Meanwhile Yameen’s half brother Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, a former strongman who ruled the country for 30 years until 2008, is in prison facing terrorism charges for his alleged role in a February Supreme Court ruling that could have led to Yameen’s impeachment.

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