They are more than 1,000 coral islands scattered across the Indian Ocean.

They are the Maldives - loved by tourists from all over the world for their beaches, blue lagoons and tropical reefs.

About 250,000 voters cast ballots for their next leader on Sunday. But the presidential election has been no paradise for the opposition.

Rivals to President Abdullah Yameen have been jailed or exiled. Critics say he's become an absolute ruler, cementing his power through oppression.

International observers boycotted his re-election bid, saying it was neither free nor fair.

What does the future hold for Maldivians?


Presenter: Hoda Abdel Hamid

Guests:

Jeffrey Salim Waheed - Deputy permanent representative in Geneva for the Republic of Maldives

Ahmed Naseem - Maldivian opposition leader, former foreign minister

Bharath Gopalaswamy - director, South Asia Center, Atlantic Council

Source: Al Jazeera News