Dr Mohamed Muizzu was sworn in as the eighth President of the Republic of Maldives during a ceremony held at the Republic Square in Malé City on Friday afternoon.

The oath of office was administered by Chief Justice of the Maldives Ahmed Muthasim Adnan in a special session of Parliament presided by newly elected Speaker Mohamed Aslam.

The new Vice-President, Hussain Mohamed Latheef, was also sworn in shortly after.

President Mohamed Muizzu delivers his inaugural address to the nation at the Republic Square on Friday, 17 November 2023. (Photo: The President’s Office)

In his inaugural address to the nation, President Muizzu once again reiterated his stance on transparency and putting national issues, national sovereignty and national unity first.

Human development and infrastructure development will deliver transformative, revolutionary change, the president said.

Muizzu went on to re-emphasise his campaign promise that independence of institutions was paramount and that from here on in, in his administration, the executive branch would not interfere with judicial independence.

He also pledged to rescue the nation from what has been termed as looming, insurmountable debt. Acknowledging the tourism sector as one that was a source of great direct and indirect wealth to the nation, Muizzu pledged to actively build on current advancement and to always seek progress. Development at Velana International Airport will be expedited, as well as other efforts in the sector, he outlined.

His administration will herald in a golden age of housing across the entire nation, based on already complete plans, Muizzu said, adding that development would be pursued regionally with specific mid-term and long-term goals formulated within a 20 year national master plan that will be solidified through legislative support. He will establish two integrated development zones, one in the north and one in the south, and urban development would unfold nationwide via seven urban zones.

Tradecraft will be married with technological innovation and advancement to progress fisheries, agriculture and other technical fields, the President said, while also calling on intellectuals and academics to contribute to every sector through research and other means to build on current developments and to supercharge future development.

He will seek to instil a love of the Islamic faith, especially in the youth, in order to build a more moral, ethical nation, Muizzu said. Youth and women will be empowered classes both in the economic and political sense and, even as we stand on their efforts, elders would be given the respect they deserve while their contributions continue to be accepted, he said.

The President once again laid out assurances that foreign troops will no longer have an extended foothold in the country and that, while celebrating and elevating the 4,000 year history of the nation, he would seek to establish a peaceful and harmonious Maldives.

Corruption will not be tolerated and transparency will be key, the President underlined once more, harkening back to his campaign speeches as he concluded his speech with a moving tribute to the national flag, as one that was a symbol of the nation, and a prayer for the protection and progress of the nation.

As the President touched on some of his main objectives, outlining an administration that would actively guide the nation through the rough geopolitical, and economic, seas that many observers agree the nation is destined to weather, at least in the first half of the Muizzu administration’s current term.

Muizzu will be looking to course correct the nation’s economic trajectory while seeking to extricate Maldives from the looming shadows cast by partners, from near and far, by shedding at least some of the nation’s ‘proxy’ label, as far as the India vs. China narrative is concerned, and thus work towards a more ‘Maldives First,’ balanced foreign policy outlook.

While Parliamentary sessions had been tumultuous leading up to the Inauguration, the transition of administrations have been smooth and largely uneventful.

The Inauguration proceedings was attended by outgoing President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and former presidents Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik and Mohamed Nasheed while several foreign leaders and their representatives from across the globe were als in attendance. Former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom did not attend the proceedings.

President Muizzu’s Cabinet is expected to be sworn in, and presented with letters of appointment, during a ceremony scheduled for 07:45 p.m. tonight at the President’s Office.