Maldives profile - Leaders

  • 4 November 2015
  • From the section Asia

President: Abdulla Yameen

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Abdulla Yameen is the half-brother or former president Gayoom

Abdulla Yameen won the presidential election run-off in November 2013, narrowly defeating the favourite Mohamed Nasheed in a ballot which voters hoped would end nearly two years of political turmoil.

The crisis occasionally spilled over into violent protests after Mr Nasheed, the Maldives' first democratically-elected president in 2008, was forced to resign in 2012 in what he said was a coup.

Three attempts to hold the election were annulled or delayed in as many months.

Mr Yameen is a half-brother of Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, whose autocratic rule lasted 30 years until 2008.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Maumoon Abdul Gayoom was president for 30 years until 2008

Mr Nasheed conceded defeat after a bitterly fought battle. and said he was pleased that the country finally had a democratically-elected leader.

But the new government soon began a campaign of repression against Mr Nasheed and his supporters, jailing him for 13 years in 2015 on terrorism charges that the opposition and rights groups deem trumped up. President Yameen went on to arrest Vice-President Ahmed Adeeb in October 2015 over an alleged assassination attempt, and imposed a 30-day state of emergency in order to head off pro-Nasheed protests. This allows the security forces to detain suspects without charge.

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