of the Maldives
from 1978 to 2008. After serving as Minister of Transport, he was nominated as President by the Majlis
(Parliament) of the Maldives and succeeded Ibrahim Nasir
on November 11, 1978. He eventually became the longest-ruling head of government in Asia. After 30 years in office, Gayoom was defeated in the October 2008 presidential election and was succeeded by the opposition leader, Mohamed Nasheed
of the Maldivian Democratic Party
on November 11, 2008 – exactly 30 years to the day he first came to power.
My main objective has been to raise the standard of living of the people, to achieve social and economic progress.
I think our human rights record is very good. ... there is no systematic human rights abuses in the Maldives, there are no arbitrary arrests and people are tried in open court and they have access to lawyers.
These people where inciting people to violence. That is not allowed in any country, in any democracy. You don't allow that in the United Kingdom, you don't allow that in the United States, or anywhere in the world.
Freedom of expression is guaranteed by our constitution.
When asked about why the opposition members were arrested, Gayyoom replied in a crazy manner "Violence, Violence, Violence"