A small but crucial election in the Maldives

Maldivians will head to the polls on Saturday to choose their next president from a competitive pool of eight candidates, including the incumbent President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

Here’s why we’re watching:

  • 🏝️ The 1200 islands that comprise the Maldives are located in the middle of the Indian Ocean, near vital shipping lanes
  • 🇮🇳🇨🇳 This strategic location attracts interest from foreign powers, who’ve long competed for influence in the archipelago, and
  • 🗳️ This is the fourth and most competitive election since the Maldives became a multiparty democracy in 2008

And while the campaign issues are mostly domestic, the country’s elections have had a broader impact lately:

Intrigue’s take: With ~280,000 eligible voters choosing among eight candidates from splintered parties, anything could happen. There’s a decent chance we’ll move to a second round later this month.

And more than ever, the world will be watching.

Also worth noting:

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