Speaking to the press for the first time since his electoral defeat on Saturday, outgoing President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has expressed his desire to revert the date for the commencement of presidential terms back to 11 November, Maldives’ Republic Day. 

President Solih, inaugurated on 17 November 2018, highlighted the historical significance of 11 November, stating it marked the day the current republic was founded. He conveyed his intent to work towards ensuring that the handover of governmental power aligns with this historically significant date, provided there are no legal impediments.

This discussion surrounding the change in the date stems from court orders that affected the presidential elections in 2013. These delays resulted in the swearing-in of the then-new president being postponed by a week to 17 November. Solih’s own swearing-in had followed this adjusted date due to constitutional stipulations insisted upon by his predecessor, who argued for a five-year term for presidents.

To ensure a smooth transition of power, President Solih announced the establishment of a special transitional committee during a meeting with president-elect Dr Mohamed Muizzu on Sunday. 

The committee will be headed by Hussain Amir, the Secretary of Corporate Services at the President’s Office, and supervised by Chief of Staff Ali Zahir. A team of technical staff will also be present to aid the incoming administration throughout the process.

In his press conference, Solih also took a moment to reflect on his five-year term, noting his satisfaction with upholding the values of good governance. He thanked cabinet ministers, parliamentarians, institutions and the general populace for their unwavering support. Despite political differences, he stated that his administration had successfully worked in harmony with multiple parties.

President Solih also indicated that he intends to remain active in politics as a member of the opposition once his term concludes, signalling his continued engagement with the political landscape of the Maldives.