[QODLink]
Central & South Asia
Maldives swears in new president
Former political prisoner becomes country's first democratically elected leader.
Last Modified: 11 Nov 2008 09:27 GMT
Nasheed comes to power after three decades of Gayoom's unchallenged rule [File: AFP]

Mohamed Nasheed, a former political prisoner, has been sworn in as the first democratically elected  president of Maldives.

Nasheed, 41, took his oath of office on Tuesday at a ceremony televised  live from a convention centre in the capital Male. 

Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, the former president who had led the nation  for 30 years and was Asia's longest-serving leader, was beaten by Nasheed in an October 28 run-off election held in line with democratic reforms launched in August 2005.

Gayoom has been praised for helping bring major development to this small nation of 1,190 coral islands.

But Maldives faces a housing shortage, rising crime and drug abuse.

The outgoing president had campaigned for re-election, saying he was the only individual who could implement changes across the country. The opposition, however, accused Gayoom of using corruption and strong-arm tactics to maintain his rule.

Gayoom had survived at least three coup attempts.

The Maldives, a Sunni Muslim nation of 300,000 people, has never held multi-party elections before.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Featured on Al Jazeera
Your chance to be an investigative journalist in Al Jazeera’s new interactive game.
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Featured
Private citizens take initiative to help 'irregular' migrants, accusing governments of excessive focus on security.
Indonesia's cassava plantations are being killed by mealybugs, and thousands of wasps will be released to stop them.
Violence in Ain al-Arab has prompted many Kurdish Syrians to flee to Turkey, but others are returning to battle ISIL.
Unelected representatives quietly iron out logistics of massive TPP and TTIP deals among US, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
Led by students concerned for their future with 'nothing to lose', it remains to be seen who will blink first.