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Maldives votes to elect new President

Maldives votes to elect new President

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 23 Sep 2018, 03:06 pm

Male, Sept 23 (IBNS): Amid fears of rigging and largescale irregularities, voting to elect a new Maldives President was held on Sunday.

According to reports, voting time was extended by three hours due to long queues.

Voting commenced at 8 am and ended at around 19.00 hours.

Partial results are expected later on Sunday, but it could take up to a week for the full results to be announced, reported BBC.

The main contest is taking place between President Abdulla Yameen and his rival Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

Abdulla is seeking the second term.

As per a Maldives Independent report, there are about 262,000 eligible voters and 472 ballot boxes, including five in four overseas locations.

The country's police said no violence has been reported during voting.

"MPS is pleased to state that #MvElection2018 voting queues have officially been closed with no violence and minimal complaints from the public. Thanking Maldivians for your cooperation and your service to the nation," Maldives Police tweeted.

Image: Maldives Police Twitter page 

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Erdogan's Turkey turns Hagia Sophia into a mosque again; UNESCO regrets #HagiaSophia, #Turkey, #Istanbul, #HagiaSophiaMosqueAgain Istanbul/IBNS: Hagia Sophia, Turkey's iconic monument, a UNESCO World Heritage and one of the central attractions of its capital Istanbul, is no longer a museum. It has been turned back as a mosque though some 1500 years ago it was built as an Orthodox Christian cathedral. Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque during the Ottoman time in 1453 while under Ataturk it was turned into a museum in 1935. The decision comes amid a growing rise of the Islamists in Turkey who had been demanding that it be restored as a mosque though Opposition leaders with secular credentials had been against the move. A top court in Turkey ruled that turning it into a museum in 1935 by modern Turkey's secular architect Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was illegal, paving the way for present Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdogan to declare it as a mosque again and to open it for Muslim prayers. Erdogan made the announcement an hour after the court ruled the conversion to museum in 1935 as illegal and scrapped its status. "May it be beneficial," posted Erdogan on Twitter, sharing an official document on the change with his signature. UNESCO regrets In an immediate reaction, UNESCO said it "deeply regrets" the decision. UNESCO said it was "regrettable that the Turkish decision was not the subject of dialog nor notification beforehand". "UNESCO calls on the Turkish authorities to open a dialog without delay in order to avoid a step back from the universal value of this exceptional heritage whose preservation will be reviewed by the World Heritage Committee in its next session," the United Nation's cultural body said in a statement. Istanbul icon of beauty and wonderment According to Turkey's official tourism website, Hagia Sophia is a remarkable achievement in the history of architecture. and a living proof of mankind's revolt against the laws of physics and it calls it a monument whose importance transcends borders. It is one of UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage sites attracting millions of visitors across the world with its majestic grandeur

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Erdogan's Turkey turns Hagia Sophia into a mosque again 11 Jul 2020, 01:37 pm