Soon after he took over, the first thing President Yameen did was to take a swipe at the losing candidate Mohamed Nasheed, by declaring that “People have proved that they do not want a puppet of foreign powers,” writes Dr S Chandrasekharan for the Eurasia Review.
Better sense prevailed and soon he quickly made some conciliatory gestures to make up for that indiscreet statement.
Though Nasheed lost, nearly fifty person of the electorate had voted for him and this cannot be ignored. The international community also stressed that the new government in view of the close contest, should engage the opposition in a conciliatory manner.
Some appointments have been disappointing. The selection of Umar Naseer, a loose canon as the Home Minister is one. This perhaps has been done more to quieten him and as part of the deal with the Jumhooree with whose cooperation Yameen has come to power. It may be recalled that Umar Naseer in losing his bid for becoming the party candidate for presidentship in the PPM had abused Yameen of having used the convicted and the drug smuggling network to get elected. He was out of the party for a while and now he says that he either wants to join the PPM or the Jumhooree again!
The appointment of the Foreign Minister is another disappointment. Yameen’s niece and Gayoom’s daughter Dhunya Maumoon has been elevated and reappointed as the foreign minister. In one of the first interviews he gave, Yameen said that his priority would be on the Maldives- India relations that had taken a downturn in the last two years. As a minister of state in Waheed’s government, Dhunya looked after the foreign relations and the relations with India deteriorated mainly because of her.