Mohamed Nasheed

Speaker of the People's Majlis

President Mohamed Nasheed is a human rights and environmental activist who was the Maldives’ first democratically elected president, serving from 2008 to 2012. Known as the “Mandela of the Maldives,” Nasheed was a founder of the Maldivian Democratic Party and led a campaign of nonviolent civil disobedience. This resulted in President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, the country’s 30-year dictator, relaxing authoritarian controls and allowing political pluralism. Nasheed was subsequently elected in 2008 in a historic democratic election. On Feb. 7, 2012, Nasheed was forced to resign the presidency after a coup d’etat organized by security forces loyal to the former president. The next year, he was convicted under the country’s Anti-Terrorism Act and sentenced to 13 years in prison, which has been denounced by international human rights groups and governments as a politically motivated attack. Nasheed was given asylum in the United Kingdom in 2016. Nasheed returned to the Maldives in 2018 after his childhood best friend, relative, and party’s candidate, Ibrahim Solih, won the election. Nasheed subsequently took office as speaker of Parliament. On May 6, 2021, an assassination attempt was carried out against Nasheed near his home while he was getting into his car. He sustained serious injuries after an IED bomb detonated near his home. He was treated in an intensive care unit in Germany after undergoing multiple emergency surgeries. In June 2022, Nasheed announced that he would be running for the Maldivan Democratic Party’s 2023 nomination for president, but subsequently lost to President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

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