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Abdulla Yameen

Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom
އަބްދުﷲ ޔާމީން އަބްދުލް ގައްޔޫމް
Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom in January 2014.jpg
6th President of the Maldives
In office
17 November 2013 – 17 November 2018
Vice PresidentMohamed Jameel Ahmed
Ahmed Adeeb
Abdulla Jihad
Preceded byMohammed Waheed Hassan
Succeeded byIbrahim Mohamed Solih
Personal details
BornAbdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom
(1959-05-21) 21 May 1959 (age 59)
Malé, Maldives
Political partyProgressive Party of Maldives
Other political
People's Alliance
Spouse(s)Fathimath Ibrahim
ResidenceHilaaleege(Official 2013-2018) H.Dhoovehi (Private)
Alma materAmerican University of Beirut
Claremont Graduate University

Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom (Dhivehi: އަބްދުﷲ ޔާމީން އަބްދުލް ގައްޔޫމް Arabic: عبد الله يمين عبد القيوم‎; born 21 May 1959) is a Maldivian politician who has been the 6th President of the Maldives since 2013. He left office on 17 November 2018 following his defeat in the 2018 presidential election, in which he sought to win a second 5-year term.[1][2][3]

Yameen was elected president in the 2013 presidential election as the candidate of the Progressive Party (PPM), defeating Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) leader and former president Mohamed Nasheed in the second round of the re-run, after the initial election was annulled.[4] He left office on 17 November 2018 following his defeat in the 2018 presidential election, in which he sought to win a second 5-year term.[1][2][3] He is the second democratically elected president of the Republic of the Maldives.

Government service before presidency

Yameen began his government service in July 1978. Following his undergraduate studies in Beirut, Lebanon, he returned home in mid-1982 and served first as Secretary at the Department of Finance and then as Research Officer at the Research and International Organisations Division of the Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA). On his return after completing his postgraduate studies, Yameen began what would be a two decade long record of service in the Ministry of Trade and Industries. Among the posts that he had held there were Foreign Trade Development Officer, Undersecretary, Assistant Director, Deputy Director, Director, Director General and then the Minister of Trade and Industries on 11 November 1993.

As the Trade Minister, Yameen modernised the Maldives’ trade sector, broadening the economy and bringing in more investments to the country.[citation needed] He was a key player in the economic development of Maldives upon becoming a Member of Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) and other international trade and investment organisations.

In addition to his services as the Minister of Trade and Industries (and later as the Minister of Trade, Industries and Labour), Yameen also served as the Minister of Higher Education, Employment and Social Security (July 2005 – April 2007) and as the Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation (September 2008 – November 2008) during the presidency of Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.[5]

Presidency (2013–2018)

After a few years in the People’s Alliance (PA), a political party he helped form, Yameen joined the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) in 2010. PPM is the party of former president and Yameen's half-brother Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who had governed Maldives for 30 years. In the first round of voting of the presidential elections in 2013, former president Mohamed Nasheed, Yameen's opponent received 45.45% of the votes and Yameen received 25.35% of the votes and finished in second place, forcing a second round which Yameen won by 51.39% of votes to Nasheed's 48.61%.

In the very first two years in office, he brought about an unprecedented reduction of the state budget deficit from double figures to near five percent – the healthiest Fiscal position the country has seen in decades. Efforts such as the ‘2016 Visit Maldives Year’ initiative and mega-infrastructure projects, such as the bridge linking the capital city directly to the airport and the airport expansion, have set the agenda towards widening prospects for growth and gains – the focus being on growing, promoting and putting into place mechanisms towards sustaining and maintaining economic growth well beyond the current administration’s term in office. Development of regional airports is further set to contribute to growth.[citation needed][5]

The China-Maldives Friendship Bridge (now officially named as Sinamalé Bridge) project, which was launched in 2015, is the first of its kind in the Maldives. It is 1.4 kilometres long and 20 metres wide, linking Malé’s eastern edge to the western corner of Hulhulé Island, where Velana International Airport is located. It will provide one lane for four-wheeled vehicles and one lane for motorcycles on either side. There is also a lane for pedestrians on both sides.[6]

Construction of the bridge began in 2016 and following its completion in mid-2018, the bridge will help to improve inter-island transport and economic development in the region by providing a reliable land connection for locals and holidaymakers between the capital Male, the airport, and the new youth city of Hulhumalé. President Yameen inaugurated the Sinamale bridge on August 30, 2018. This is the first ever bridge to be constructed on the archipelago, to cover a distance of more than a kilometre.

Expansion of the country's main gateway, Velana International Airport is expected to be completed within the second quarter of 2018. The project will expand and increase the capacity of the airport to handle more passengers and aircraft. This ambitious project consists of a fuel farm with a storage capacity of 45 million litres and a cargo complex with the capacity to handle 120,000 tonnes, a new Code F 3,400-meter-long, 60-meter-wide runway which is able to cater to the largest of aircraft such as Antonov An-225 and Airbus A380 and a new passenger terminal. Upon completion, the existing runway will be converted into a taxiway, reducing the turnaround time of aircraft at the airport. The new terminal is expected to increase the ability to serve around 8 million passengers from the current rate of 1.5 million passengers a year. The new international passenger terminal will consist of a floor area of 78,000 square meters, the new terminal will have 40 departure checking counters, 38 immigration counters, 12 jetties, and six aero-bridges.[7][8][9]

Other new airports are being developed to accommodate to the increase of the influx of more passengers and tourists which is expected to rise in the years to come. New regional airports are being built on islands such as Kulhudhuffushi and existing regional airports such as Gan International Airport have been converted to international airports with international airlines slowly beginning their operations.[10]

The city of Hulhumalé was also being developed under the supervision of Yameen. The new land required for Phase II of Hulhumalé was reclaimed at the beginning of 2014 and ever since, speedy development has followed through such as construction of roads and other necessary infrastructure. Yameen has also initiated a grand housing project called 'Hiyaa' to provide sheltering for an estimated 100,000 people. The project under the second phase of Hulhumalé's development will see the construction of 10,080 housing units including flats.[11]

The last quarter of 2015 saw the establishment, via the State Trading Organisation (STO), of a pharmacy on every inhabited island in the Maldives allowing all Maldivians equal access to medicine – this was a long-held vision of Yameen finally come to life. Coupled with the state’s healthcare scheme, access to medicine is the most convenient and the least expensive it has ever been.[citation needed][5]

Yameen had further pledged to improve healthcare facilities to include better treatment of cancer patients and those with heart ailments – in addition to committing towards improving investigative, and other technical capabilities. Furthermore, the new 25-storey high-rise hospital, Dharumavantha Hospital, considered as the biggest investment for the Maldivian Health sector under Yameen's administration, will be a technologically innovative inclusion to the Maldives health sector and promises to deliver enhanced services and would utilize new and improved state-of-the-art equipment. The building is designed to 'shield' radiation while a life support system will be installed to the premises. Furthermore, six floors of the building is designated to national diagnostic center. The building will also have a fully equipped and enclosed section to store volatile chemicals. Other facilities planned to be included in the building include a gym, hydro-therapy center, rehabilitation suite along with a child care center and a swimming pool. A new medical college which meets the international standards is also being established for the first time ever under the supervision of Yameen to further revolutionize the health sector in Maldives. Two floors of the new state-of-the-art hospital is designated to the medical college to facilitate the best amenities for the students practicing their MBBS in the medical college in Maldives.[12][13]

In Addu, a new tertiary hospital is being completed to ensure access to top level healthcare apart from only being available in just the capital city of Malé. To increase the country's revenue and decrease the dependency on just tourism, Yameen also envisions that these projects will sprout a new and additional source of revenue for the economy of Maldives-medical tourism.[14]

In line with Yameen’s vision harbour protection, sanitation and uninterrupted energy initiatives are being implemented around the nation, thus ensuring access to clean water and uninterrupted power than in any previous administration in power before – covering a far wider geographic area and acting as an agent of change which will ensure sustainable improvements for generations to follow.[citation needed][5]

2018 election

Yameen was defeated by joint opposition candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih (of MDP) in 2018 presidential election held on 23 September 2018. Yameen conceded defeat in a televised statement aired next day.[15][16]

Alleged assassination attempts

On 28 September 2015, an explosion took place on board the presidential yacht 'Finifenmaa' carrying Yameen and his wife along with top government officials from the airport island Hulhulé as it was nearing to dock at the presidential jetty, Izzuddeen Faalan in Malé. Yameen escaped unhurt, but the first lady, a presidential aide, and a bodyguard were injured. The first lady sustained minor fractures to her spine, and was hospitalized for over a month.[17][18][19]

Following the incident, government officials provided conflicting reports on the cause of the explosion. Although government officials initially pointed to a mechanical failure as a likely cause, they later claimed an international team of investigators from the U.S. FBI, Saudi Arabia, Australia, and Sri Lanka ruled out this theory. The government then declared the incident an assassination attempt.[20]

The FBI later refuted this claim, stating they had found no conclusive evidence suggesting the blast was the result of an explosive device. An unnamed Sri Lankan official who suggested the blast was the result of a "high explosive explosion" did not provide further details, and although the Maldives' local probe commission cited Saudi Arabian investigators as saying there were signs of RDX, they provided no evidence to support that claim, nor have Saudi Arabian officials confirmed this conclusion.[21]

It was announced that investigations revealed that the vice president, some government officials and soldiers had been involved. They all were later found guilty and charged with high treason and terrorism resulting them being sentenced to jail. Former vice president Ahmed Adeeb was found to have illegally possessed firearms to attempt a coup by eliminating senior government officials as well as masterminding the bomb plot by ordering and bribing few soldiers to plant an IED in the yacht and destroy the evidence as soon as the yacht is taken for investigation following the explosion.[22][23] However the FBI of the United States investigated the blast and stated it found no evidence for an explosion cause by a bomb.[24]

Personal life

Yameen is the son of Sheikh Abdul Gayoom Ibrahim, who was an Office - President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom.[clarification needed] He is married to Fathimath Ibrahim Didi and has three children, two sons and a daughter. His wife was injured in a reported assassination attempt on Yameen[5]


  1. ^ a b "Maldives swears in new president". Al Jazeera.
  2. ^ a b "Yameen sworn in as president of the Maldives".
  3. ^ a b "Maldives profile - Leaders". BBC.
  4. ^ "Maldives election: Abdulla Yameen wins run-off vote". BBC.
  5. ^ a b c d e "President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom".
  6. ^ "Maldives reveals plans for airport expansion and new island bridge".
  7. ^ "Maldives airport expansion to cost US$800m".
  8. ^ "Saudi Binladin Group awarded Maldives airport terminal project".
  9. ^ "President launches US$400m airport runway project".
  10. ^ "South Maldives gets first international flights".
  11. ^ "Govt. grand housing scheme to shelter 100K citizens".
  12. ^ "Two floors of Dharumavantha Hospital to the Medical College".
  13. ^ "'Skyscraper' hospital draws close to completion".
  14. ^ "Addu tertiary hospital will be opened by President Yameen in June 2018 : Dr.Muizzu !".
  15. ^ Government confirms election victory of opposition candidate Solih The Edition, 24 September 2018
  16. ^ President Yameen addresses the nation The Edition, 24 September 2018
  17. ^ "Explosion on president's speedboat, President Yameen unharmed".
  18. ^ "Maldives president unhurt in boat blast on return from Hajj". 2015-09-28. Retrieved 2018-07-24.
  19. ^ "First Lady, injured in boat blast, released from hospital". 2015-11-07. Retrieved 2018-09-05.
  20. ^ "Maldives boat blast was attempt on president's life: minister". 2015-10-06. Retrieved 2018-09-05.
  21. ^ "FBI says no 'conclusive evidence' Maldives boat blast caused by bomb". 2015-10-31. Retrieved 2018-09-05.
  22. ^ "The explosion on Yameen's speedboat: What we know so far".
  23. ^ "Maldives Ex-Vice President Jailed For Plotting President's Assassination".
  24. ^ "Maldives declares 30-day emergency". 2015-11-04. Retrieved 2018-07-24.

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Mohammed Waheed Hassan
President of the Maldives
Succeeded by
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih