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    As Oceans Rise, Indian Ocean Archipelago Maldives Gears Up for Key Elections

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    The archipelago nation Republic of Maldives held parliamentary elections on Saturday, seen as a pivotal political moment for the nation’s current president, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, who is hoping to establish wider political freedom and address corruption issues.

    An estimated 76 percent of voters showed up at the polls, as 386 candidates vie to gain a spot in the parliament. The main contenders are former President Mohammed Nasheed, a member of the Maldives Democratic party (MDP), and former President Yameen Abdul Gayoom, who leads the opposition coalition, the Progressive Party of Maldives. 

    The vote is key for Solih, a member of the Maldivian Democratic Party, who requires a minimum of 44 seats in the 87-member parliament to gain a majority. During last year's election, Solih defeated Yameen, who was released from detention in February after corruption allegations against him surfaced.

    The MDP is expected to win almost 60 seats, according to local media.

    "This [the result] will go a long way in consolidating democracy in the Maldives," Nasheed, who became the country's first democratically-elected president in 2008, recently told BBC. Nasheed was deposed in 2012 and found guilty of terrorist activities in 2015, Sputnik previously reported.

    According to the official charge, Nasheed committed a number of offences under the nation's terrorism laws. The arrest and imprisonment of the former president sparked condemnation from the international community. 

    The election is also likely to affect bilateral ties between India and the Maldives which soured last year after Yameen declared a state of emergency following an order by the country's Supreme Court to release a group of leaders earlier convicted for anti-state activities.

    The tiny island nation is also at the forefront of the effects of global warming due to human-induced climate change as sea levels are expected to continue their steady rise, drowning much of the archipelago over the next 75 years, according to multiple reports.

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    Global Warming, parliamentary elections, election, Maldives
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