MALE, Maldives, Sept. 7 (Xinhua) -- Enthusiastic polling kicked off here on Saturday as hundreds of people and candidates flocked to 470 polling stations across 200 islands to decide who the next president should be, however one candidate told Xinhua that doubts on the poll's credibility remained.
Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) MP Abdulla Yameen told Xinhua after casting his vote Saturday morning that he believed the election was a turning point in the history of the Maldives.
However, he admitted that doubts regarding its credibility still remained and that political parties could decide to contest the result, which will be announced early Sunday.
"This (the election) is absolutely crucial. This is the watershed election. Things have gone so wrong for the last four to five years and it is absolutely imperative that we change for the better this time."
When questioned whether he is confident of the elections being free and fair, he responded that there were still loopholes that the regulators had failed to close ahead of time.
"It all depends on how problems are going to be resolved here. If it (result) needs to be contested, if there are substantive issues, I suppose every party would contest. There has been a Supreme Court order but the Elections Commission has very clearly said in public that they are not going to adhere to that, any of the fallout from that (elections)."
Yameen has the public endorsement of former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and many of his family members active in the current government.
The PPM's support base includes many of those who backed Gayoom in the 2008 presidential election a sizable population across the country which saw Gayoom receive 45.32 percent of the vote in the second round of the 2008 election.
"The Elections Commission may be credible but I don't understand why they were so reluctant when we offered to invite from all the parties an independent group to verify and ascertain whether their system is full proof so this makes us quite jittery, " he added.
The PPM, founded in 2011, is led by Gayoom.
Overall Yameen was upbeat of the turnout for the polls where long lines were seen by Xinhua wrapped around most polling stations.
"Voting is more than expected I think, there is a very very eager crowd. Unto now there have been reports of very peaceful polls in the islands. I'm saying that if there is a serious dispute over how things go today then each party may want to go to the courts."