The presidential runoff has seen a steady increase in voter turnout throughout the morning, as both the ruling party and opposition candidates exercised their civic rights.

The Elections Commission (EC), Human Rights Commission, and leading figures have reiterated the importance of the vote, as the nation decides between incumbent President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and opposition candidate Dr Mohamed Muizzu.

Voters started queuing early at polling stations before they officially opened at 8 a.m. The EC, keen on maintaining the scheduled timing, warned that polling will close precisely at 5 p.m., urging citizens to cast their votes without delay.

By 08:16 a.m., Vice Chairman of the EC, Ismail Habeeb, confirmed that over 80% of polling stations had commenced operations. The Human Rights Commission of Maldives (HRCM) also weighed in, underlining that voting is a constitutional right for Maldivians above 18 and a civic duty for all. 

Opposition PPM/PNC candidate Dr Mohamed Muizzu votes in the runoff election. (Photo: PPM)

Muizzu, the presidential candidate for the opposition PPM-PNC alliance, was amongst the early birds, casting his vote, along with his running mate, Faresmaathodaa MP Hussain Mohamed Latheef (Sembe).

Speaking to the press, Muizzu called upon all eligible voters to make their voices heard at the ballot box.

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih casts his vote in the presidential election runoff. (Photo: MDP)

First Lady Fazna Ahmed and President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, contesting for re-election, also cast their ballots, with President Solih expressing confidence in a victory. He anticipates a voter turnout between 85-86% and clarified that his party had maintained clean hands in all election-related activities.

As of 10 a.m., the voter turnout stood at 23%, according to the EC. Within the first two hours, 65,600 people, including 38,309 men and 27,291 women, had cast their ballots. A large portion of the electorate, 76% or 217,204 eligible voters, have yet to vote. This statistic builds upon the earlier data, which revealed that by 9 a.m., 12% of voters had turned out, leaving 87% of the electorate still to vote.

The EC noted that polling had started in all stations except those in London and Abu Dhabi, and no disturbances had been reported.