This election may not be final; and I am not just talking about the first round. Even after any possible second and final round is complete and the winner sworn in, it may still not be final. There are reasons to believe what starts on November 11th will only be a transitional period.
A very recent poll conducted by Social Liberal Party revealed that 40% of Maldivians are yet to decide who to vote for. This figure is plausible considering the responses one gets from friends when one asks them if they have decided on a candidate. So for many Maldivians the decision making process is ongoing and may not be complete at the time of going to the polling station in just two days time.
There are many reasons for this. The last few months have been a rollercoaster ride for Maldivians with too much happening in too short a time. Let alone ordinary citizens, even parties and candidates have not been able to keep up with the pace, with many of them still to publicize their full manifestos. So the voters have not had the opportunity to make a full informed decision.
Citizens are still learning and digesting new information about the candidates. Through the magnifying glass of the media they are learning true as well as false details of the character and personal lives of candidates, their beliefs and inclinations. This information is radically changing their images as people see them. They are turning out to be more of human beings, and less of either the saints they claim to be or the sinners they are accused to be.
The election could also reveal that some leaders are not as strong as they are currently perceived to be. Some others could turn out to be more popular than they are thought. This could lead to realignment of forces in the coming months.
It's difficult to foresee how things will finally turn out. But it's unlikely that the next President will last 30 years. In fact he will be lucky if he survives his first term.