Abdulla Yameen was on Sunday sworn in as the sixth President of the Maldives, ending nearly two years of political turmoil that threatened to isolate the country internationally.

Mr. Yameen, the half-brother of former autocratic ruler Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, was administered the oath of office by Chief Justice Ahmad Faiz at a special session of Parliament. He was given a 21-gun salute.

Mohammad Jameel was sworn in as Vice-President.

54-year-old Mr. Yameen, an economist and a candidate of Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), clinched an unexpected victory in the presidential run-off on Saturday by receiving 51.39 per cent of the votes over opposition leader and former president Mohammed Nasheed who garnered 48.61 per cent of the votes.

In his inaugural speech, Mr. Yameen said he will protect the gateway to Maldives, a popular tourist destination.

“I shall strive to make the Maldives the safest and most developed nation in the region. We will maintain good neighbourly relations with countries in the region,” he said.

Two former presidents — Mr. Nasheed and Mr. Maumoon — also attended the swearing in ceremony.

Presidential spokesperson Imad Masood said over 50-members attended the special session of Paliament.

Earlier, Elections Commission announced the official results of the presidential runoff, confirming Mr. Yameen, the half-brother of former autocratic ruler Mr. Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, as the President elect.

Elections Commissioner Fuad Thowfeek announced that Mr. Yameen garnered 111,203 votes and Nasheed received 105,181 votes.

According to Mr. Fuad, the voter turnout for the run-off was 91.41 per cent with 218,621 people voting in yesterday’s polls.

After the results were declared, Mr. Yameen said the country desperately needed stability and hoped his opponents would cooperate.

“The country needs stability,” Mr. Yameen told reporters. “I hope we will receive the necessary cooperation from Nasheed through parliament.”

“Instead of confronting political leaders, we will confront the big challenges facing our country,” he said.

Maldives has witnessed political turmoil since 46-year-old Mr. Nasheed resigned under duress in February 2012 in a controversial transfer of power.