Maldivians cast their votes in far away Kerala

October 8th, 2008 - 8:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 8 (IANS) A large number of Maldivian nationals settled in Kerala queued up in front of their consulate office here Wednesday to cast their votes in their country’s presidential elections.According to reports, an estimated 1,142 Maldivians are expected to participate in the polling here. Voting was underway from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and the ballot boxes would be airlifted to Maldives at 9 p.m.

Many voters were against Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who has been president for the past three decades.

“We don’t like him because we have no rights and we will remove him from the post of president,” said a young Maldivian national waiting to cast his vote.

The Kerala capital is home to thousands of Maldivian nationals and police here had a tough time reining in the supporters of the six candidates contesting in the first democratic presidential elections in the Indian Ocean islands of the Maldives.

While many Maldivians have been residing here for the last one decade, many are here for medical treatment.

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