Former President Mohamed Nasheed, a pivotal figure in the nation’s transition to democracy, has announced his withdrawal from active politics for an extended period. The announcement was made in a statement released on Tuesday. Nasheed, the country’s first democratically elected President, highlighted his role in establishing and enhancing multi-party democracy in the Maldives as a key achievement of his eventful political career that spans over three decades.

Presently serving as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Central Mahchangolhi, Nasheed also announced his decision not to seek re-election in the forthcoming parliamentary elections scheduled for early next year.

Throughout his political journey, Nasheed said he had been a strong proponent of Islamic values, human rights, freedom of expression, and freedom of the press. “I have confidence that these values have been ingrained in society to a certain extent,” he said.

Reflecting on his political career, Nasheed, who also held the position of Speaker of Parliament, shared insights into the adversities he faced. The journalist-tuned-politician recalled instances of imprisonment, separation from family, and life-threatening situations, including a bomb attack.

Nasheed emphasised his commitment to public service as President and Speaker of Parliament. “I have worked diligently to ensure social protection and establish a robust tax system,” he said, but voiced concerns over the state’s financial accountability and efforts to combat corruption.

Looking ahead, the former president expressed optimism for future generations to continue the work of ensuring government and leadership accountability. He also highlighted his efforts towards environmental conservation, expressing satisfaction over the passage and ratification of numerous environmental protection laws during his political career. “I am concerned over the damages caused to lagoons and reefs in the name of developments,” he said.

In the concluding remarks of his statement, Nasheed revealed his acceptance of the role of Secretary General of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF), an international coalition of countries highly susceptible to the impacts of global warming. The CVF, formed with the participation of 11 countries, including the Maldives, in 2009, has expanded its membership to 68 countries.

Nasheed expressed his belief that his new role will enable him to serve the Maldives and its people more broadly and effectively. He concluded his statement by expressing gratitude to all those who had supported him throughout his political career.