Nasheed sworn in as Maldives new President .

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

Mohamed Nasheed, a prominent leader of the democratic reform in the Maldives and former political prisoner jailed several times for his anti-government activities has been sworn in as the new President of Maldives in a special session of the People’s Majlis held this morning held at Dharubaaruge.

Nasheed, 41 educated in UK, won the run-off in the first multi- party and multi-candidate presidential elections held on 28 October after the country has adopted a new constitution and embraced far reaching democratic reform. Nasheed’s election brought an end to the 30 year rule of former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom who contested for a seventh term. Nasheed’s win was hailed by a larger majority of the people as a victory for democracy and change.

After taking the oath of office President Nasheed in his address to the Majlis told he would uphold the constitution and faithfully discharge his duties as the new President of Maldives. He said serving and improving the quality of life of his people will be his foremost priority and he renewed the commitment of honoring the promises he made during the election campaign.

“We will establish a new government to serve the people to fulfill the pledges we made, the people deserves more than what they are getting today, we have been mentioning this repeatedly, and I am once again repeating it” President Nasheed expressed.

Nasheed reiterated his pledges , expressing that cost of living, housing , transport, health care and other basic necessities must be at affordable and within reach of the citizens. He also said the youth of today does not have to be victims of drug abuse.

“We will not be ruling just for the sake of ruling, the objective of this government will be realize the pledges we made, we made several pledges, the people gave their support and their majority to us so that we can form a government to fulfill these pledges” President Mohamed Nasheed said.

President Nasheed expressed his gratitude to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse, Indian Vice President Hamid Ansari and other distinguished foreign dignitaries who have so graciously attended his inauguration. He also profoundly thanked world leaders and other dignitaries who have very kindly felicitated him on his election and assumption of the office of the President.

He further urged the Majlis to endorse and approve his cabinet so that he continues with the work expected by the people.

President Nasheed expressed his happiness about the calm smooth and democratic manner in which the transition of power has taken place, again as a fine example of democracy. He said the world has only few examples where a 30 year old regime was brought to end so peacefully and so smoothly. He thanked the Maldivian people for their wisdom.

After President Nasheed’s inauguration Vice President Elect Dr. Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik was also sworn in.

Speaker of the People’s Majlis Mohamed Shihab, addressing the Majlis expressed that the sentiments expressed by President Nasheed was the very reason why the Maldivian people elected him as their new leader. He wished Nasheed every success and prayed to God Almighty to grant President Nasheed perseverance, strength and wisdom to fulfill his obligations.

Saying that today marked a new chapter in Maldives history; Speaker Mohamed Shihab expressed hope that President Nasheed will be a compassionate and humble leader who will give priority to the needs and aspirations of the people.

“I sincerely hope that President Nasheed will be such a leader and that new government will be a government formed for the people” Shihab said.

Shihab further said Maldivian people know President Nasheed not only as a political leader but also as a hero who made many sacrifices for the rights and freedom of the people.

“I am confident that the Nasheed’s presidency will provide the Maldives and the Maldivian people happiness, prosperity and peace the country deserves. I am also confident that Nasheed will be a leader who make good on his promises” Speaker of People’s Majlis Mohamed Shihab said.

The special Majlis session was also attended by former ministers and members of the People’s Majlis. Members of the Majlis greeted the President just before the end of the ceremony. The ceremony was attended a packed crowd of senor government officials and members of the civil society.

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