President Abdulla Yameen reshuffled the cabinet today and appointed Finance Minister Abdulla Jihad as his third vice president in less than a year.
The new appointments come in the wake of Home Minister Umar Naseer’s surprise resignation last night.
Youth Minister Ahmed Zuhoor was appointed new home minister while Abdulla Munawwar replaced Jihad as finance minister. Munawwar was previously state minister of finance.
Health Minister Iruthisham Adam was made the new minister of youth and sports. Her old portfolio was handed to Abdulla Nazim Ibrahim, formerly an under-secretary at the president’s office.
Fathmath Zeneesha Shaheed Zaki, the founder of a local child rights NGO ARC, was appointed as minister of gender and family.
Attorney General Mohamed Anil was previously in charge of the gender ministry, which was established in July 2014 with a mandate to tackle domestic violence and to oversee all government functions related to women, children, and people with special needs.
Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed administered the oath of office to the new ministers and vice president around noon today.
Senior MPs of the ruling coalition and Jumhooree Party leader Gasim Ibrahim attended the swearing-in ceremony at the president’s office.
The vice president’s post has been vacant since the November impeachment of Ahmed Adeeb, who has since been convicted of masterminding the September 28 blast on Yameen’s speedboat.
Adeeb was found guilty of plotting to assassinate the president and sentenced to 15 years in prison. He was also handed a 10-year sentence on a separate count of terrorism over the possession of a pistol.
Adeeb’s predecessor Dr Mohamed Jameel Ahmed was meanwhile impeached in July last year. Yameen’s running mate in the 2013 presidential election was accused of incompetence and disloyalty.
Earlier this month, Jameel became the leader of a new coalition launched in London with the aim of removing Yameen from power before the 2018 presidential election.