Ibrahim Mohamed Solih

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Ibrahim Mohamed Solih
އިބްރާހީމް މުޙައްމަދު ޞާލިޙު
Ibrahim Mohamed Solih - Maldives (cropped).jpg
President of the Maldives
Assuming office
17 November 2018
Vice President Faisal Naseem (Elect)
Succeeding Abdulla Yameen
Personal details
Born (1964-05-04) 4 May 1964 (age 54)
Hinnavaru Island, Lhaviyani Atoll, Maldives
Political party Maldivian Democratic Party (after 2003)
Spouse(s) Fazna Ahmed
Children 2
Residence Malé

Ibrahim Mohamed Solih (Dhivehi: އިބްރާހީމް މުޙައްމަދު ޞާލިޙު; born 4 May 1964), better known as Ibu,[1] is a Maldivian politician[2] who is the President-elect of Maldives and will assume office on 17 November 2018.

Solih was first elected to parliament in 1994, aged 30, as the MP from his home atoll of Faadhippolhu. Solih played a leading role in the formation of the Maldivian Democratic Party[3] (MDP) and the Maldives Political Reform Movement from 2003 until 2008, which led to the country adopting a new modern constitution and multiparty democracy for the first time in its history. Solih was also a senior member of parliament[4] and the Special Majlis. A founding member of the Maldivian Democratic Party, Solih was elected as President of Maldives on 23 September 2018 following the presidential election.

Early and personal life[edit]

Solih was born on Hinnavaru Island but moved to the Maldives' capital island of Malé at a young age for education, and he has been a resident since. He is one of 13 children. He is married to Fazna Ahmed and they have a daughter named Sarah and a son named Yaman.[5]

Solih is one of the closest friends of former President Mohamed Nasheed, who is also the first cousin of Solih's wife Fazna. Solih and President Nasheed played an instrumental role in establishing multiparty democracy in the Maldives. Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has been a senior figure in the party and lead the first Parliamentary Group of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) in 2009.[6]

Education and business career[edit]

Solih completed his secondary education at Majeedhiyya School, Malé. During his school days he was a popular student and took part in several school activities, which especially applied to sports.[6]

Political career[edit]

Solih has been the Parliamentary Group Leader of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) since 2011.[7]

He has also served as the leader of the joint parliamentary group since the opposition coalition was formed in March 2017.

Solih was selected as the new presidential candidate[8] for the coalition of opposition parties seeking to unseat the incumbent President Abdulla Yameen in the 2018 election, when former president Mohamed Nasheed changed his mind about running.[9]

Solih went on to claim an upset victory over Yameen, winning the election with 58.3% of the vote[10] and receiving nearly 38,500 votes more than his opponent. In the run-up to the election, many foreign observers had asserted that the election could be rigged in Yameen's favor and that he was thus likely to win a second term. However, when the counting of ballots was nearing completion on election night, President Yameen addressed the nation and conceded the election to Solih,[10] this being a few hours after the latter had claimed victory and urged the president for a peaceful transition of power.[11]

The main issue of the campaign has widely been recognized as the question of whether the Maldives should continue to pursue closer relations with the People's Republic of China, as it has done under the Yameen presidency, or whether it should instead turn to India and the countries of the Western world (especially the United States), which is a direction more favored by the MDP-led opposition coalition.[10]


Solih is due to assume office on 17 November 2018, when the five-year term of incumbent Abdulla Yameen will expire. Solih will become the 7th President of the Maldives and the country's third democratically elected president (following Mohamed Nasheed and Abdulla Yameen) since Nasheed unseated Maumoon Abdul Gayoom in the 2008 election, thus ending the latter's 30-year long, six-term incumbency. Solih will also be the first Maldivian president to be born in the country's northern atolls, as well as be the second-oldest person to assume the presidency, at the age of 54 (with only Mohamed Waheed Hassan being older when taking office).[6]


Solih during his early school days at Majeediyya School
Football team of Majeediyya School - Solih is standing on the far left
Solih on the campaign trail as the opposition's presidential candidate in 2018
Solih campaigning on Maduvvaree island of Raa Atoll


  1. ^ "Who is Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, president-elect of the Maldives?". The Hindu. 24 September 2018. Retrieved 6 October 2018.
  2. ^ "The race of his life: An introduction to the Maldives' latest presidential hopeful". Maldivesindependent.com. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  3. ^ "Ibrahim Mohamed Solih – Maldivian Democratic Party". Mdp.org.mv. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  4. ^ "People's Majlis – Chair announces Majority and Minority Leaders of the 18th People's Majlis". Majlis.gov.mv. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  5. ^ "The race of his life: An introduction to the Maldives' latest presidential hopeful". Maldives Independent. Retrieved 23 September 2018.
  6. ^ a b c Name * (25 September 2018). "Ayubowan Ibu! The new President of Maldives for a New Era in Democracy". YourTambapanni. Retrieved 6 October 2018.
  7. ^ "Ibrahim Mohamed Solih". Maldivian Democratic Party. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  8. ^ "Maldives opposition selects veteran Ibrahim Solih for Sept presidential poll". Reuters. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  9. ^ "MP Ibu declared MDP's Presidential Candidate". En.mihaaru.com. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  10. ^ a b c "Maldives election: Opposition defeats China-backed Abdulla Yameen". BBC. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  11. ^ "Maldives election: Ibrahim Mohamed Solih claims victory". BBC. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
Political offices
Preceded by
Abdulla Yameen
President of the Maldives
Taking office 17 November 2018