President Abdulla Yameen has swapped his private residence for a larger plot of land located near the construction site for the China-Maldives friendship bridge.
The civil court on Wednesday confirmed the land swap, transferring ownership of Yameen’s residence at Dhoovehi in Malé’s Galholhu ward to a woman called Mariyam Ahmed.
Mariyam’s plot of land, Noofaru in Henveiru ward, was transferred to Yameen’s name.
Dhoovehi is 2000 squarefeet while Noofaru is 2969 squarefeet.
The president had lived in Dhoovehi until March this year.
In April 2014, the pro-government majority in parliament approved an amendment to the law governing remuneration and benefits for the president and vice president, making it mandatory for the state to cover expenses of the pair’s private residences.
According to the opposition-aligned Raajje TV, the state had spent MVR 1.9 million (US$123,200) on Dhoovehi every month.
Taxes will not be levied on the swap.
The president’s office was not responding to calls at the time of going to press.
In March, Yameen moved to the statehouse, Hilaaleege, backtracking on a campaign pledge to continue living at his private home. The move was reportedly prompted by security reasons, following a blast on Yameen’s speedboat last September.
The presidential palace, Muleeaage, is meanwhile being used for meetings and official functions.