Dr. Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed, the chancellor of Islamic University of Maldives (IUM), has been appointed as the running mate of President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom in the upcoming presidential election.
President Yameen announced Dr. Shaheem's appointment during an emergency council meeting of ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) on Saturday night.
After his appointment, Dr. Shaheem in a tweet requested the public to support President Yameen and successfully re-elect him for a second term within the first round of voting itself.
Dr. Shaheem, 41, of Gaafu Alif Atoll's Maamendhoo, had served as the Minister of Islamic Affairs during the regime of former President Mohamed Waheed, and as state minister in the same ministry under his predecessor, former President Mohamed Nasheed.
He studied at the International Islamic University in Malaysia, and Islamic University of Madinah in Saudi Arabia. Along with a Bachelor's Degree and Master's Degree in Islamic Shariah, Dr. Shaheem also has a PhD in Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) and Usul al-Fiqh (Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence) under his belt.
Yameen's running mate during his presidential campaign for the 2013 election was Dr. Mohamed Jameel Ahmed. However Yameen had fallen out with his deputy sometime after he assumed his office, and Jameel had been impeached after the parliament passed a motion of no confidence against him.
Jameel's successor was the then Minister of Tourism, Ahmed Adheeb. However Adheeb was convicted of orchestrating an explosion aboard the presidential speedboat in September 2015 in an attempt on the president's life, and he also faced impeachment.
Since then, the vice president's position has been filled by the former Minister of Finance and Treasury, Abdulla Jihad, who was appointed on June 22, 2016. Jihad is a brother-in-law of President Yameen's new running mate for the upcoming elections.