Male, Nov 11 : Mohamed Nasheed, a former political prisoner who defeated Asia'songest-serving ruler Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, in the first multiparty election in the Maldives, today assumed the office of President of the Maldives
Nasheed, 41, took his oath of office in the presence of host of dignitaries, including Indian Vice President Hamid Ansari at a ceremony here.
Nasheed defeated Gayoom, who had led the nation for 30 years in a Presidential run-off on October 28.
Nasheed's victory caps a remarkable journey for an activist whose criticism of Gayoom and crusade for democracy resulted in him being charged 27 times and jailed or banished for six years.
He left the country in 2003 and was one of the founders of the Maldivian Democratic Party in exile.
He returned to the island nation on April 30, 2005, only after Gayoom, under international pressure, launched a democratic reform programme and lifted the ban on forming political parties. By Mrityunajay Singh