Vice President Abdulla Jihad returned to the Maldives this morning after an official visit to the United Arab Emirates.
Jihad departed to the UAE on August 23, shortly after returning from an official trip to Malaysia for a meeting with Prime Minister Najib Razak.
The vice president was accompanied by his wife, Asima Hussain, according to the president’s office.
The president’s office has not stated the purpose of Jihad’s visit to Dubai. No details, including who the vice president met, have been revealed.
After he left for the UAE, rumours swirled on social media of Jihad fleeing the Maldives amid growing speculation of President Abdulla Yameen’s imminent ouster, a claim he denied.
Jihad earlier visit to Malaysia had coincided with a personal trip of Yameen’s to Singapore, leaving the two highest state officials out of the country at the same time. The vice president took part in the International Conference on Blue Ocean Strategy, a summit that focuses on streamlining public services.
Jihad, the former finance minister, was appointed vice president on June 22. He became Yameen’s third vice president in less than three years.
The vice president’s post had been vacant since the impeachment last November of Ahmed Adeeb, who has since been convicted of masterminding the September 28 blast on Yameen’s speedboat.
Adeeb’s predecessor Dr Mohamed Jameel Ahmed was impeached in July last year. Yameen’s running mate in the 2013 presidential election was accused of incompetence and disloyalty.
Yameen’s running mate in the 2013 presidential election was accused of incompetence and disloyalty. He is now leading a broad coalition of opposition parties working to remove Yameen from power and establish an interim government ahead of the 2018 presidential election.