President Abdulla Yameen has temporarily handed over the Ministry of Defense and National Security to Tourism Minister Ahmed Adeeb.
Adeeb is to be in charge of the ministry while Defense Minister Colonel (retired) Mohamed Nazim is out of the country on a personal trip, the President’s Office has said.
Speaking to Minivan News, Spokesperson Ibrahim Muaz Ali said the handover was routine procedure but declined to reveal details on the length of Nazim’s trip.
Nazim has handled the health ministry since the People’s Majlis failed to reappoint former Minister Mariyam Shakeela to the post. Shortly after Shakeela’s departure, President Yameen announced that he would personally be overseeing the health sector.
During Nazim’s absence, Islamic Minister Dr Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed is to be in charge of the health portfolio, the President’s Office said.
Nazim also heads the Local Government Authority (LGA) and was in charge of the Malé Water Crisis Management task force after a fire at Malé’s water plant cut off services for nearly two weeks.
In December, members of the LGA tabled a no confidence motion against Nazim, but the motion was withdrawn on the same day. Some LGA members have promised to further pursue the matter.
Neither Adeeb nor Nazim was responding to calls at the time of press.
Ruling Progressive Party of the Maldives’ (PPM) parliamentary group leader Ahmed Nihan congratulated Adeeb in a tweet.
@Ahmed_Adeeb No 1 Minister in Maldives. Congratulations Acting Defense Minister!