Maldives election: In the face of anti-Indian policies...

The fourth round of multiparty parliamentary elections in the maldives is scheduled for Sunday, and many view it as a referendum on the anti-India policies of President Mohamed Muizzu, who is perceived as being pro-China. 368 candidates are vying for 93 seats in the parliamentary election, according to media sources. The environment has been tainted by accusations being traded between Muizzu's People's National congress (PNC) and the Maldivian Democratic party (MDP), the main opposition. There are about 285,000 Maldivians who can cast ballots on Sunday; the results should be known by early Monday.

The nation of the archipelago, which is best known for its immaculate white beaches and status as one of South Asia's most costly vacation spots, has recently seen a number of dramatic changes, including the expulsion of indian military personnel and the awarding of prominent infrastructure contracts to Chinese state-owned enterprises. Muizzu has a pro-China stance and is moving away from India. He won the presidential election of last year by running as a stand-in for pro-China former president Abdulla Yameen, who was just freed from an 11-year prison sentence due to corruption.

Since taking over, Muizzu has made a number of statements indicating his support for China, including giving important infrastructure contracts to state-owned Chinese enterprises. Muizzu demanded in january that india remove all of its armed forces from the indian Ocean archipelago. india had consented to withdraw its troops from the maldives after high-level talks with the US, provided that an equal number of civilians from india were brought in to operate the aircraft.

A top Muizzu aide told news agency AFP that "geopolitics is very much in the background as parties campaign for votes in Sunday's election." "He is working on fulfilling his pledge to return indian troops when he came to power. Since taking office, the parliament has not worked with him," he continued.

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