Maldivian President Mohamed Waheed on Monday picked up two more Gayoom-era officials to fill up the crucial cabinet berths of Foreign Affairs and Finance, even as the all-party talks to reconcile political differences and set out a future roadmap lay in shambles.
Dr. Waheed appointed Abdul Samad Abdulla, Maldives’ envoy to Bangladesh during Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s time as the new Foreign Minister, and gave the finance portfolio to Abdulla Jihad, who earlier held the ministry as well as the position of the Central Bank governor during Gayoom’s regime in 2008.
With the new appointments, former loyalists of the Gayoom regime now dominate Dr. Waheed’s cabinet that also has the former dictator’s daughter, Dhunya Maumoon as a State Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Dr. Waheed had earlier appointed former Justice Minister Mohamed Jameel Ahmed, as the Home Minister, and Mohamed Nazim, a former military officer under Gayoom, as his Minister of Defence and National Security.
He also chose Gayoom’s spokesperson, Mohamed Hussain Shareef as his Minister for Human Resources, Youth and Sports and made Gayoom’s lawyer, Azima Shakoor, as the Attorney General.
The appointments came at time when differences are widening between the government supporters and those of ousted President Mohamed Nasheed, with the all party talks to take forward an India-brokered deal lying suspended.