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Early voting under way in Australia with opposition ahead in polls

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Early voting is under way in Australia two weeks ahead of election day, with surveys showing the opposition centre-left Labor Party’s Anthony Albanese extending lead and Prime Minister Scott Morrison suffering a fall in his approval rating.

Monday’s voting began a day after a televised debate between Morrison and Albanese who at times yelled at each other, making it hard for either to make a point.

“Scott Morrison didn’t have anything to say except shouting. He only had smears and that smirk throughout it all,” Albanese told reporters.

Amid a campaign dominated by cost-of-living pressure, national security and climate change, a widely watched survey conducted for The Australian newspaper showed Labor leading 54-46 percent on a two-party preferred basis against the Morrison-led Liberal Party-National Party coalition government.

Morrison’s rating as the country’s preferred leader fell a percentage point to 44 percent, the survey showed, leaving him narrowly in front of Albanese whose rating rose 3 points to 42 percent.

READ MORE: Election campaign kicks off in Australia, opposition ahead in polls

Surging inflation

Female voters have turned to Labor as the party they believe would better manage worsening cost-of-living pressure, the survey showed, after surging inflation forced the central bank last week to lift its official cash interest rate.

If the coalition’s shrinking lead is replicated in the May 21 election, Labor could govern on its own, a survey for the Australian Financial Review showed, revealing higher living costs as voters’ top issue.

The coalition has a one-seat majority in parliament’s lower house.

Millions of Australians are expected to cast their votes in person over the next two weeks at over 500 early-voting centres nationwide.

Advance voting has gained popularity in Australia. About 40 percent of the electorate voted either early or by post in the last national election.

Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers told ABC television he expected those numbers to increase during this election.

READ MORE: Anti-corruption watchdog becomes a hot topic in Australian elections

Source: TRT World 

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President casts ballot in parliamentary election

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President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu has cast his vote in the parliamentary elections.

President Muizzu cast his vote at a polling station based in Thaajuddeen School. Following his vote, he urged the public to exercise their right by voting promptly.

The Election Commission of the Maldives (ECM) revealed that the voting will take place between 0800hrs to 1730hrs, highlighting that voting commenced promptly at nearly all polling stations on time.

In the current parliamentary elections, the ruling party People’s National Congress (PNC) led by President Muizzu has nominated candidates to contest in 90 constituencies.

Source(s): PsmNews

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ECM urges to vote independently and promptly

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President of the Election Commission of the Maldives (ECM) Fuwad Thowfeeq has urged the populace to promptly cast their ballot.

In a message to media commemorating voting day, Fuwad Thowfeeq urged the voting population to cast votes independently and promptly. Voting for the 20th parliamentary election began at 0800hrs on April 21.

Additionally, ballot boxes are placed in all residential islands, 34 resorts, correctional facilities, industrial islands and as well as 3 countries abroad. ECM confirmed a total of 602 ballot boxes are placed.

Moreover, Fuwad reiterated that the electoral body is fully equipped for the preparation of the polling stations, highlighting that all administrative work necessary has been initiated. The ECM has initiated a reduction in the number of voters per polling station. Therefore, 500 individuals can now voter per box.

Furthermore, efforts are currently being made by the Maldives Police Service (MPS) to guarantee a smooth and seamless elections. Subsequently, MPS raised its alert level by launching a special operation named “Operation Blue Tide”. Simultaneously, it resolved to use ‘body worn cameras’ to ensure the utmost security throughout the election process.

Commander of Maldives Police Service Abdulla Shareef underscored that police personnel have been stationed at various polling stations, ensuring its safety. It further urged the public to cooperate with the temporary amendments made to the traffic guidelines. Meanwhile, transportation of heavy vehicles will be prohibited following the parliamentary elections.

Additionally, individuals with special needs, pregnant women, the elderly, and those working in uniformed services will be awarded priority access at polling stations, exempting them from queues. Concurrently, it stressed the importance of carrying official documents when voting.

The counting of votes begins 30 minutes after the polling place closes.

Source(s): PsmNews

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Voting begins for the parliamentary election 2024

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Voting has begun for the 2024 parliamentary election.

Polling stations opened in Male’ and the atolls at 0800hrs and will close at 1730hrs, as per the decision of the Election Commission of the Maldives (ECM). Voters began queuing up at the polling stations at around 0730hrs and the security envelopes were opened in the presence of the first two voters at the polling stations.

A total of 602 ballot boxes have been set up in the Maldives and three other countries for the parliamentary election. Polling stations are also open in 34 resorts, prisons and other industrial islands. The countries in which ballot boxes are placed for voting are Trivandrum in India (0830hrs to 1800hrs), Colombo in Sri Lanka (0830hrs to 1800hrs) and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia (1100hrs to 2030hrs).

ECM has made several arrangements to ensure maximum convenience to all during the election process. As such, each ballot box is open for 500 individuals. Additionally, ECM affirmed that the allocated time for voting will not be extended under any circumstances, hence urging residents to cast their votes promptly.

With a total of 93 various constituencies, the eligible voting population for the election is 284،663, including 145،302 male and 139،361 female voters. While the current 19th parliament consists of members representing 87 districts, decisions have been made such that the forthcoming 20th parliament will encompass an additional six districts. The additional six constituencies are as follows: two chairs for Male’ City, one chair for Addu City, one chair for Maalhosmadulu Dhekunuburi (Baa Atoll), one chair for Male’ Atoll and one chair for Huvadhu Atholhu Uthuruburi (Gaafu Alif Atoll).

The current parliamentary term will conclude on May 30, 2025.

Source(s): PsmNews

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