New president for Maldives sworn in

Mohamed NasheedMale – The first democratically-elected president of the Maldives was sworn in Tuesday, bringing an end to the three-decade rule of one of Asia's longest serving leaders, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, officials in the capital Male said.

Mohamed Nasheed, 41, who was elected president in a run-off election on October 28, defeated Gayoom after obtaining 54 per cent of the valid votes.

The capital Male was decked with flags of the Maldivian Democratic Party headed by Nasheed as he took the oath of office in a ceremony televised live.

Nasheed, a former political prisoner for six years during the Gayoom regime, was actively involved in the pro-democracy campaign which eventually forced the former president to introduce democratic reforms.

The new president has declared that one of his immediate concerns would be the issue of the rising sea levels which is posing a serious threat to the nation made up of 1,192 islands. (dpa)