President Nasheed was elected president on 28 October 2008, defeating incumbent President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who ruled the Maldives from 1978-2008.
President Nasheed graduated from Liverpool University in 1989 with a Bachelor of Arts in Maritime Studies. His early political career was dominated by his non-violent struggle for democracy in the Maldives. In 1991, Amnesty International declared Nasheed a ‘prisoner of conscience’.
After spending 18 months in self-imposed exile, Nasheed returned to the Maldives on 30 April 2005 to establish the MDP in the Maldives, defying a government edict banning political parties. Arrested, imprisoned and tortured in the Maldives on numerous occasions for his political activities, Nasheed is widely credited for playing an instrumental part in bringing freedom and democracy to the Maldives.
President Nasheed has famously prioritised fighting climate change, stating, ‘If you can’t save the Maldives today, you can’t save yourselves tomorrow.’ In January 2010, the Maldives formally announced plans to become carbon neutral in ten years.
In 2009, President Nasheed won the Anna Lindh Prize, in recognition of his work promoting human rights, democracy and environmental protection.
In September 2009, Time Magazine declared President Nasheed a ‘Hero of the Environment’.
In April 2010, President Nasheed won the United Nations' 'Champions of the Earth' environment award.
In August 2010, Newsweek named President Nasheed in its list of ‘world's ten best leaders’.On the web: