The new leader of the Maldives has appointed the daughter of former strongman Maumoon Abdul Gayoom as foreign minister, an official said yesterday, underscoring the family’s renewed influence in the country.
President Abdulla Yameen, half-brother of Gayoom who ruled for 30 years till 2008, named Dhunya Maumoon, 43, to the post in his first appointments Sunday before forming a full cabinet later, the official said. “The foreign ministry is crucial for the Maldives given the country needs to rebuild its international image after nearly two years of political unrest,” said the senior administration official, asking not to be named. The election of Yameen, 54, in Saturday’s run-off election ended nearly two years of turmoil in the honeymoon islands. The official said the new president was considering requests from his coalition partners to fill more cabinet positions. Minister Maumoon was deputy FM in the government of Mohamed Waheed, who took power after his predecessor Mohamed Nasheed was toppled in what he called a coup in February 2012.