MALE, Maldives — The Maldives elections commission has announced that the country's presidential election will be held in September, as democratic freedoms decline in the archipelago state 10 years after the introduction of a multiparty system.
The commission announced Thursday night that the election will be held Sept. 23 and nominations will be allowed from July 15 to 25.
President Yameen Abdul Gayoom, elected to office in 2013, is seeking a second five-year term virtually unopposed because all of his potential rivals are either jailed or in exile.
Maldives embraced a multiparty democracy 10 years ago after decades of autocratic rule.
Mohamed Nasheed, who won the country's first free election in 2008, is seeking to become a candidate while in exile but faces legal hurdles because of a 13-year prison sentence. Given asylum by Britain when he went there for medical treatment on leave from prison, Nasheed has already started his campaign, addressing his supporters regularly through video conference.
Yameen is accused of curtailing democratic freedoms, including free speech and assembly. He has jailed one of his vice presidents, two defense ministers, two Supreme Court Justices and scores of opposition politicians and officials while president.