Maldives President Ibrahim Solih swearing-in | As it happened

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Maldives’ new President Ibrahim Solih at the Presidential palace in Male after Mr. Solih’s swearing-in ceremony on November 17, 2018. Photo: Twitter/@presidencymv

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Maldives’ new President Ibrahim Solih at the Presidential palace in Male after Mr. Solih’s swearing-in ceremony on November 17, 2018. Photo: Twitter/@presidencymv  

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Ibrahim Mohamed Solih took over as the new President of the Maldives after the Opposition united to dislodge strongman Abdulla Yameen in the September elections.

Mr. Solih, 54, emerged as common Opposition candidate as all key dissidents were either jailed or forced into exile by Mr. Yameen who took power following a controversial run-off in 2013.

At a special session of Parliament held at the National Football Stadium in the capital Male, Mr. Solih was sworn in with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, former Maldivian Presidents Mohamed Nasheed and Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and former Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga in attendance.

Ibrahim Solih speaks after taking over as Maldives President in Male on November 17, 2018. Photo: Twitter/@presidencymv

Ibrahim Solih speaks after taking over as Maldives President in Male on November 17, 2018. Photo: Twitter/@presidencymv  

 

Here are the updates:

 

Modi visits Presidential palace

Mr. Modi visited the the President’s Office after the swearing-in ceremony.

 

 

Solih mentions India twice in inaugural address

Our correspondent Narayan Lakshman reports from Male:

''Mr. Solih twice mentioned India in his [Divehi] speech, along with ‘climate-change diplomacy’, with former President Nasheed translating the speech for Mr. Modi. Didn’t hear him mention debt-trap diplomacy and China!”.

Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweets: “Being part of a special moment Maldives President Solih in his address to the People's Majlis: We will endeavour to fortify existing ties with India. Maldives will hereupon bolster its shared role to retain enduring peace & harmony of the Indian Ocean.”

 

Solih promises green, sustainable development

“I intend to spearhead environmental protection programs that adhere to international conventions, to protect selected islands, reefs and seas in every atoll. The development I envisage for the Maldives, is green and sustainable,” says Mr. Solih.  “The Maldives will further consolidate its global position as a leader in climate action amongst Small Island Developing States, and will strive to become the leading advocate for this cause. ”

Ibrahim Solih takes oath as the sixth President of Maldives at a ceremony in Male on November 17, 2018. Photo: Twitter/@presidencymv

Ibrahim Solih takes oath as the sixth President of Maldives at a ceremony in Male on November 17, 2018. Photo: Twitter/@presidencymv  

“My Government has set a number of goals for the first 100 days in office. By the end of this period, electricity prices will be reduced. Tuition fees will be fully covered for undergraduate degrees. School students will be provided free breakfast,” he says.

 

Ibrahim Solih sworn in

Ibrahim Solih speaks after taking over as the sixth President of Maldives in Male on November 17, 2018.

Ibrahim Solih speaks after taking over as the sixth President of Maldives in Male on November 17, 2018.   | Photo Credit: Narayan Lakshman

 

Mr. Solih takes oath as the sixth President of the Maldives. “Fresh from his swearing-in Maldives’ new President Ibrahim Solih promises to root out corruption,” reports our correspondent Narayan Lakshman from Male.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed and former Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga at the swearing in ceremony of Maldives’ new President, in Male on November 17, 2018.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed and former Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga at the swearing in ceremony of Maldives’ new President, in Male on November 17, 2018.   | Photo Credit: Narayan Lakshman

 

 

Modi in Male

Prime Minister Modi arrives in Male to attend the oath taking ceremony of Mr. Solih.

“I am confident that my visit will herald a new era of even closer exchanges and cooperation between our two countries,” Mr. Modi said on Facebook, especially in “infrastructure, health care, connectivity and human resource development.”

On arrival in the Maldivian capital, Mr. Modi was given a red carpet welcome and was received by Maldives Parliament’s new Speaker Qasim Ibrahim.

This is Mr. Modi’s first visit to the Maldives as Prime Minister. The last visit by an Indian Prime Minister to the Indian Ocean island nation was by Manmohan Singh in 2011.

Namal Rajapaksa, former Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s son, at the searing-in ceremony of Maldives President Ibrahim Solih in Male on November 17, 2018.

Namal Rajapaksa, former Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s son, at the searing-in ceremony of Maldives President Ibrahim Solih in Male on November 17, 2018.   | Photo Credit: The Hindu

 

 

The response on the streets to the change in the Maldives. Two students speak to our correspondent Narayan Lakhsman in Central Male.

Click here to listen to the podcast.

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South Asians don’t vote for infrastructure mega projects:  Mohamed Nasheed

Former President of the Maldives Mohamed Nasheed

Former President of the Maldives Mohamed Nasheed   | Photo Credit: AP

 

As the Maldives embarks on a new journey under President Ibrahim Solih, it looks to shake off the past five years of what Maldivians seem to regard as Beijing’s stifling embrace. Former President Mohamed Nasheed played a key role in the Maldivian Democratic Party’s victory as a major player in the new coalition arrangement, and he will continue to shape his nation’s fortune as it moves closer to India. He spoke to Narayan Lakshman in Male about his vision for this strategically critical nation.

Read more

 

'Thanks to Modi for not visiting Male in past five years'

Speaking exclusively to The Hindu, Mohamed Nasheed, President of the Maldives from 2008 to 2012, expressed his thanks to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not visiting Male in the past five years “because everyone was in jail”.

He said that although the Maldives is strategically important to India and there would have been some who said he must go, “there was a realisation in New Delhi that that is not how you deal with the Maldives.”

Read more
 

 

Modi to attend swearing-in

Narendra Modi is making his maiden visit to Male as Prime Minister to attend the swearing-in ceremony of new Maldivian president, indicating an attempt to mend bilateral ties, which nosedived during the outgoing Abdulla Yameen government.

India-Maldives ties came under strain under Mr. Yameen who was perceived to be close to China. Some decisions by Mr. Yameen, including imposition of restrictions on work visas for Indians and signing of a new Free Trade Agreement with Beijing, did not go down well with New Delhi.

The relations deteriorated further after Mr. Yameen imposed Emergency on February 5 this year. India had criticised his decision and asked his government to restore the credibility of the electoral and political process by releasing political prisoners. The Emergency lasted for 45 days

 

Who is Ibrahim Mohamed Solih?

Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, popularly known as Ibu, is all set to become the President of the tiny Indian Ocean archipelago, the Maldives

Born in 1964 in Hinnavaru, Lhaviyani Atoll, Mr. Solih was one of 13 children. He is married to Fazna Ahmed — a cousin of former President Mohamed Nasheed — and the couple have a son and a daughter.

Mr. Solih entered the Parliament for the first time after defeating a ruling party candidate in 1994, at a time when the country had no opposition party. He has been representing Lhaviyani Atoll in the Maldivian Parliament since then.

He is also one of the founding members of the Maldivian Democratic Party, MDP.

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Maldives election, a recap

When the Election Commission announced in June that the Presidential Election would be held on September 23, the opposition parties — Jumhooree Party, Adalath Party and a faction of the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives led by former President Abdullah Gayoom — decided to join hands to dethrone sitting President Abdulla Yameen.

They formed a coalition at a time when most of the leaders were either jailed or in exile or barred from contesting elections. They decided to field Ibrahim Mohamed Solih as the common candiate.

The alliance unseated strongman President Yameen. Mr. Yameen had to accept his defeat after the country's judiciary refused to annul the September presidential election.

 

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Printable version | Dec 16, 2019 10:06:09 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/maldives-president-swearing-in-ceremony-live-updates/article25525080.ece

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