Mohammed Nasheed takes oath as Maldives’ President

Mohammed Nasheed takes oath as Maldives’ President Mohammed ‘Anni’ Nasheed, 41, has been sworn-in as the President of Maldives - he took his oath of office Tuesday at a ceremony televised live from a convention centre in the capital island Male.

It was in Male where Nasheed began his pro-democracy campaign in 1990, as a journalist for an underground magazine.

A former political prisoner, Nasheed unseated Asia’s longest-serving leader as president of the Maldives - former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom - who had led the nation for three decades, before he allowed democratic reforms and was beaten in an October 28 run-off election.

In his inaugural address as the President, Nasheed thanked the people for having spoken so well, and remarked that it was rare for people to achieve democratic transition as smoothly and as peacefully as had been done in Maldives.

At his first press conference after winning the election, Nasheed told reporters: “I don’t want Maldivians to end up as environmental refugees in some camp.”

With the Nasheed government seeking assistance to meet the economic challenges the country faces, Vice-President M. Hamid Ansari, who attended the swearing-in, assured the new President that India would extend continued support and cooperation.  

Nasheed suggested India’s cooperation be extended in the fields of energy, science and technology and information technology.