A four-member high-level team of election observers has left for Male on an invitation from the Maldives Election Commission for the first round of Presidential elections on September 7.

The team includes three former Chief Election Commissioners — J.M. Lyngdoh, B.B. Tandon and N. Gopalaswami — and the former Indian High Commissioner to Maldives, S.M. Gavai. The observers will reach Male on September 1 and undertake visits to polling stations on different islands, External Affairs Ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin said.

The Commission is working closely with its Maldivian counterparts to strengthen its capacity. The global community is looking at the upcoming presidential elections to bring in stability after the first democratically elected President Mohamed Nasheed was forced to resign. He was succeeded by Vice-President Mohamed Waheed.

This change of guard at the top has split the Maldivian society, leading to court cases and street battles.