With a brief eight month exemption in 1953 when Mr Mohamed Amin Didi served as President, the Maldives remained a Sultanate until a referendum held in 1968 (three years after independence from being a British Protectorate) approved a constitution transforming the nation into a Republic with three official branches of government.
Mr Ibrahim Nasir, who was Prime Minister under the Sultan before the referendum, being credited with orchestrating Maldivian independence, became the nation’s second President and the first under the new constitution, which went on to be amended in 1970, 1972, 1975, and 1997.
In 1978, Mr Maumoon Abdul Gayoom became the nation’s third President. During his tenure President Gayoom initiated a democratic reform process that sought to liberalize the nation’s governing system. In the culmination of these efforts, 2008 saw a new constitution adopted that included a clear separation of powers, with major checks being implemented on the authority of the executive.
Two months after the completion of this new constitution, elections were held where Mr Mohamed Nasheed became the nation’s fourth President, winning with the support of a six party coalition. Within the first three months of his tenure, President Nasheed began to expel the political parties which brought him to power. After the arrest of political leaders, barricading of the Supreme Court, attempted abolishment of the lower courts, and arrest of a sitting Criminal Court Judge, President Nasheed was accused of violating the constitution. This culminated in President Nasheed’s resignation on February 7th 2012.
Dr Mohamed Waheed, elected under the same ticket as President Nasheed’s Vice President, was sworn in, on the invitation of Mr Abdullah Shahid, Speaker of Parliament, by Uz Ahmed Faiz Hussain, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. President Waheed became the nation’s 5th President.
Mr Abdullah Yameen Abdul Gayoom was elected as the 6th President of the Republic of the Maldives. On 17 November 2013, he took his oath of office at a Special Assembly of Parliament, administered by the Chief Justice, Uz Ahmed Faiz Hussain. Taking his oath at the same ceremony, Uz Mohamed Jameel Ahmed became the 2nd elected Vice President of the Republic of Maldives.