Mohamed Muizzu

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Mohamed Muizzu
President Dr Mohamed Muizz's official portrait of 2024, The President's Office, Republic of the Maldives
Official portrait, 2024
9th President of the Maldives
Assumed office
17 November 2023
Vice PresidentHussain Mohamed Latheef
Preceded byIbrahim Mohamed Solih
Mayor of Malé
In office
17 May 2021 – 17 November 2023
PresidentIbrahim Mohamed Solih
DeputyAhmed Nareesh
Preceded byShifa Mohamed
Succeeded byAhmed Nareesh
Minister of Housing and Infrastructure
In office
21 May 2012 – 17 November 2018
PresidentMohammed Waheed Hassan
Abdulla Yameen
Preceded byHimself (as Minister of Housing and Environment)
Succeeded byMohamed Aslam
Minister of Housing and Environment
In office
19 February 2012 – 21 May 2012
PresidentMohammed Waheed Hassan
Succeeded byHimself (as Minister of Housing and Infrastructure)
Personal details
Born (1978-06-15) 15 June 1978 (age 45)
Malé, Maldives
Political partyPeople's National Congress (2023–Present)
Other political
affiliations
See list
Spouse
(m. 2003)
Children
Parents
ResidenceMuliaage[a]
Alma mater
Signature
WebsiteThe President's Office
Other offices

Dr Mohamed Muizzu[c] (born 15 June 1978) is a Maldivian politician who is the 9th and current president of the Maldives since 2023. He previously served as Housing Minister and was the Mayor of Malé from 2021 until his resignation in 2023.

He was selected for his party's nomination after former president Abdulla Yameen was jailed for serious corruption charges. He was chosen as his successor since Abdulla Yameen was ineligible to run for elections. He was the People's National Congress candidate for the 2023 presidential election, in which he defeated then-president Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

Early career

Education

Muizzu went to Majeediyya School, the oldest school in Maldives.[1] He earned his bachelor's and master's degree in structural engineering at the University of London, and he earned his PhD in civil engineering at the University of Leeds. His PhD thesis concerned "Thermal and time-dependent effects on monolithic reinforced concrete roof slab-wall joints" and was awarded in 2009. He has also attained Project Management Professional (PMP) certification from America's Project Management Institute (PMI).[2][3]

Government jobs

He began working for the government in 1998, as a Construction & Public Works Planning Technician Trainee at the Ministry of Construction and Public Works.[3][4] Muizzu also served as the Governor of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank in 2017.[5][6][7]

Early Political career

Minister of Housing

Official portrait as Housing Minister, 2012

In 2012, Muizzu assumed the role of Minister of Housing and Environment during the administration of President Waheed as a member of the Adhaalath Party.[8] He continued in this post after the 2013 Presidential Election under President Abdulla Yameen's administration.[9] By this time Muizzu was a member of the Maldives Development Alliance (MDA), part of a coalition government.[10] The Ministry of Housing and Environment was later restructured and renamed as the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure during his five-year term in office. [8]

During this time, Muizzu oversaw several infrastructure projects including the Sinamalé Bridge. The bridge connected the capital city of Malé to the Velana International Airport on the island of Hulhulé,[11] and is the first inter-island bridge in Maldivian history.[12]

The rest of his term as Minister saw further infrastructure projects completed, including the construction of numerous harbors,[13] jetties, parks, mosques, public buildings, sporting facilities, and roads.[3] Muizzu also oversaw the introduction of modern asphalt paving techniques on the streets of Malé,[14] and the implementation of new building and maintenance codes.[3]

Progressive Party of Maldives

Following the 2018 presidential election, Muizzu left the MDA and joined the party of the outgoing president, the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM).[15] In 2019, Muizzu was appointed the vice-president and the head of the Elections Department of the then-opposition (PPM).[citation needed]

Mayor of Malé

In 2021, Muizzu was elected mayor of Malé defeating the candidate from the then-ruling Maldivian Democratic Party with a vote of 12470.[16][17][18]

Muizzu was the First Mayor of Malé, to be directly elected by the people of Malé. He also became the First Mayor of Malé to be elected for a 5-year term. After 11 Years and 3 consecutive terms of rival Maldivian Democratic Party's control over Malé city council. Muizzu was elected to Mayor from Progressive Party of Maldives.[19][16][20]

During his Mayor term, Muizzu Kept working closely with the people in Malé, making house calls to gain a better understanding of the living conditions in Malé, and actively advocating for decentralization and empowerment of local bodies.[3][21]

Muizzu was the Mayor of Malé from 17 May, 2021 until his resignation[22] on 17 November, 2023[23][24]

After Muizzu the became the President–Elect, Deputy Mayor Ahmed Nareesh was handed the responsibilities of the Mayor of Malé City and was the Acting Mayor of Malé.[25] After ruling Malé for 2 Years and 184 Days, Muizzu Resigned as Mayor of Malé on 17 November 2023.[26] The decision was made following his taking oath of office as president on 17 November 2023.

President of PPM–PNC Coalition

On 5 October 2023 Muizzu was appointed as the president of People's National Congress, he assumed the role upon his victory in the presidential election.[27][28] and on december 2023, Muizzu was appointed as the president of PNC's sister party, Progressive Party of Maldives following former party leader, Abdulla Yameen left the party on November 23 to create his own political party.[29]

2023 campaign and election

Following the conviction of former president and opposition leader Abdulla Yameen for embezzlement, Muizzu was nominated as the presidential candidate for the People's National Congress (PNC), part of the opposition coalition, with MP Hussain Mohamed Latheef as his running mate.[30] In the first round of the 2023 Maldivian presidential election, he received 46.06% of the vote, a plurality, and advanced to the second round on 30 September 2023.[31] He was elected president in the second round, winning 54.04% against the incumbent Solih's 46.04%.[31] Muizzu was sworn in as the new president on 17 November 2023.[32][33]

Muizzu has also pledged to release former President Yameen from prison.[34]

Presidency

Inauguration

On November 17, 2023, President Muizzu was sworn in as the 9th President of the Republic of Maldives; the fourth to be democratically elected, he is also the 6th person from Malé to become president.[35][36][37][38]

First and second official trip

On 26 November 2023, Muizzu and First Lady Sajidha Mohamed went on their first official trip to Turkey. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Vice President Cevdet Yilmaz met Muizzu in Ankara.[39][40][41]

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi meeting Maldivian President Mohamed Muizzu at the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference.

His second trip was to the United Arab Emirates, to attend the 28th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) in Dubai.[42][43]

First 100 days

In Muizz's 100 Days, he started the withdrawal of the Indian troops in the Maldives.[44][45][46][47][48] President Muizzu also pledged to launch multiple housing projects within the first 100 days of his presidency, establish a special trust fund for housing, and formulate the policy to maintain housing loan interest rates at five percent, says during election.[49]

Muizzu started the process of bringing an end to the secret agreements made by the previous governments with other countries that threatened the independence and sovereignty of the Maldives and appeal against the ruling of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea to lose part of the South Sea within the Exclusive Economic Zone.[50][51][52][53]

Foreign Policy

On 20 August 2023 at Muizz's manifesto launch, he said his government he would make its foreign policy in a way that prioritizes maintaining close relations with countries while also preserving the Maldives' independence. He stressed that his government would not align exclusively with any single nation. [54][55]

China and India relations

Muizzu (left) meeting Xi Jinping in January 2024

On 7 January 2024, Muizzu arrived in China on a invitation extended by President Xi Jinping.[56] as a China-pro candidate, Muizzu's presidential campaign focused on reducing Indian influence in Maldivian affairs. Observers have described him as pro-China.[57][58][34] On 13 January 2024, in the interview after coming back from China, Muizzu said,

We, our country maybe small. But that doesn't give you the license to bully us![59][60]

In the late, January 2024, Muizzu said that China–Maldives relations are based upon four principles: mutual respect, sovereign equality, territorial integrity, and non-interference in internal matters.[61] Muizzu remarked that China respects the territorial sovereignty of the Maldives just as the Maldives fully accept China's One China policy[62][63][64]

In interviews prior to taking office, Muizzu has said that all Indian troops should leave the Maldives. As of 2024, the Maldivian Defence Ministry said about 77 Indian personnel were based in the country, operating aircraft given to the Maldives by India.[65][66][67][68] In February 2024, Muizzu said that all Indian troops should leave the Maldives before May 10th of 2024.[69][70][71]

United States

President Muizzu maintained the relations with the United States as other Maldivian governments do, and in January 2024, Maldivian government announced that Muizzu's government has been discussing to United States government for PayPal services in the Maldives.[citation needed], In 4 January 2024, Foreign Minister Moosa Zameer received a phone call from the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, During the phone call, Minister Zameer and Blinken reflected on the renewed vigour of the bilateral relations between the Maldives and the United States, and discussed on further strengthening the existing bilateral partnership.[72][73][74][75]

The discussions between Minister Zameer and Secretary Blinken centred on a wide range of issues, including defence cooperation, economic development, climate change and adaptation, democratic governance, and the rule of law.[76][77][78]

Turkey

Muizzu meets with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Ankara, 27 November 2023

President Muizzu visited Turkey and had multiple meetings and agreements with the Turkish Government.President Muizzu also established Maldives Embassy in Ankara in 2023 to enhance bilateral relations and promote the political, economic and cultural ties between the two countries.[79][80]

During president Muizz's official vist to Turkey, Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Muizzu had official talks. During the official talks, President Erdoğan congratulated President Muizzu on his election victory and being sworn in as the nineth president of Maldives. Following the official talks, the two leaders witnessed the signing of an “Agreement on Trade and Economic Cooperation Between the Government of the Maldives and the Government of Turkey”.[81][82][83]

Economic Policy

In January 2024, Muizzu decided to establish a development bank in the Maldives and undertake a review of the Economic Policies. Following the Cabinet discussion on a proposal submitted by the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, Muizzu decided to establish the Maldives International Financial Services Authority.[84] Muizzu has also decided to form a creative economy in the Maldives.[85][86][87]

In January 4, President Muizzu launched a multimillion-dollar project to upgrade Velana International Airport to boost the capacity to 25 million passengers,[88] which caused seaplane terminals to be relocated to Funadhoo for the project to continue.[89] Muizzu planned the creation of an establishment with the name "Maldives International Financial Services Authority" and planned Funadhoo to be an international financial hub.[90][91]

During the presidential address 2024, Muizzu announced that the construction of two new airports will be started.[92] These projects aim to expand transportation services and boost the economy.[93][94]

The presidential address 2024
Mohamed Muizzu, Giving The Presidential Address 2024

The Cabinet

President Muizz's cabinet include 22 ministers.[95].The posts were handed to politicians from diffrent political parties.[96] With the coronation of the new government, President Muizzu created a new ministry called the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Welfare, the Ministry was handed to Aishath Rameela.[97] the government also concluded the restructuring with the creation of a new ministry, the Ministry of Cities, Local Government, and Public Works.[98]

In the late November 2023, President Muizzu submitted the names of the 22 Cabinet Ministers to Parliament for parliamentary approval.[99] In January 2024, the parliament voted to deny approval to three cabinet Ministers, Attorney General Ahmed Usham, Islamic Minister Dr Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed and Minister of Housing, Land and Urban Development, Dr Ali Haidar Ahmed.[100][101]

President Muizzu Again Appointed the three cabinet Ministers, Dr Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed was appointed as the Minister of Islamic Affairs, Dr Ali Haidar Ahmed was appointed as the Minister of Housing, Land and Urban Development, and Uz Ahmed Usham was appointed as the Attorney General. [102][103]

Personal life

In an interview during Muizz's Election, Muizzu and First Lady Sajidha highlighted that they Met on Ibrahim Nasir International Airport in April 2003, Before meeting, they kept chatting.[104] Muizzu married Sajidha Mohamed on 18 May 2003; they have three children, Yasmine, Umair and Zaid.[105][106][107]

Muizzu born 15 June 1978 in the capital of the Maldives, Malé. He was born to Sheikh Hussain Abdul Rahman and Husna Adam. Muizzu's Father, Abdul Rahman (1944–2015) was a former judge and scholar of religion [108][109] who in 2013 received the National Award of Honour from then-president Waheed for "contribution in the area of religious awareness and religious education".[110][111]

Muizzu has a half-sister Fathimath Saudha, who is a PNC candidate for the Nilandhoo constituency.[112][113]

Awards and recognitions

President Muizzu Awarded by Maldives National Association of Construction Industry In 2023

In 24 December 2023, Maldives National Association of Construction Industry (MNACI)'s Highest Honor conferred the "Bodu Rasgefaanu title" on Mohamed Muizzu, Muizzu received the title in appreciation of his contributions to the Maldives construction industry.[114][115][116][117]

In 2013, then-minister Muizzu was presented with the Maldives National Award by president Mohamed Waheed Hassan for "Achieving the highest academic qualification in the Maldives"[118]

President Muizzu also earned his Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in civil engineering and was given the "Dr" title in 2009.[3]

Decoration Organisation Country Date
National Award H.E The President  Maldives 22 August 2013
Bodu Rasgefaanu
ބޮޑު ރަސްގެފާނު
MNACI  Maldives 24 December 2023

Bibliography

Books

  • Muizzu, Mohamed Dr. (13 November 2023). Dr. Mohamed Muizzu Wins Presidential elections in Maldives.
  • International Institute for Strategic Studies. The Military Balance 2024 - Page 51. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 9781040051153.

Articles

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Muliaage is the official residence of the president of the Maldives, the own Residence of Mohamed Muizzu is Dhimyaath
  2. ^ Bachelor's degree and Master's degree in University of London and a PhD in University of Leeds
  3. ^ Pronunciation: UK: /məˈhæməd mɪz/
    Dhivehi: ޑރ. މުޙައްމަދު މުޢިއްޒު

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Further reading

External links

Official

Others

Political offices
Preceded by Mayor of Malé
2021–2023
Succeeded by
Preceded by President of the Maldives
2023–present
Incumbent
Preceded by
Himself
Minister of Housing and Infrastructure
2012–2018
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Mohamed Aslam
Minister of Housing and Environment
2012–2012
Succeeded by
Himself
Party political offices
Preceded by President of People's National Congress
2023–Present
Incumbent
Preceded by President of Progressive Party of Maldives
2023–Present
Incumbent