About a fortnight ago, the Maldives celebrated the golden jubilee of its independence under the theme ‘Minivan 50’ with such splendor that word still goes around about the celebrations. The fiftieth anniversary of the independence Maldives gained from the British Protectorate in 1965 saw the whole nation lit up in commemoration of the independence and the national heroes who fought for in, including the former President Late Ibrahim Nasir, NGIV. While the celebrations of the ‘Minivan 50’ remains vivid in our memories, another fiftieth anniversary is well on its way.
On 11th November 2018, the Maldives will celebrate the golden jubilee of the republican rule in the country. As this historic date dawns upon us, time is right to reminisce how the system of governance changed in the Maldives. The Maldivian history begins with a monarchy and remained so for centuries before revisions were made, making the nation a constitutional monarchy in 1932. Two decades later, on 1st January 1953, the Maldives saw the establishment of a republican rule of law with Mohamed Ameen as the first President of the nation. However, the republican rule was short lived and the monarchy was restored after only seven months of establishment, with Mohamed Fareed as the Sultan.
The Maldives, counting years under the British Protectorate, then saw the former President Late Ibrahim Nasir, NGIV, advocate for independence under Fareed’s rule. With the support of some patriotic youth such as Abdul Sattar Moosa Didi, NIIV, Nasir soon succeeded in signing a declaration of independence with the British, freeing Maldives from the latter; since when it has remained an independent state till date. The independence in 1965 was the beginning of a transition that once again led to the restoration of the republican rule in the Maldives. On 7th March 1968, the Maldives adopted the republican rule of law for a second time with Late Ibrahim Nasir as President.
As a Republic, the Maldives hosts the same republican values as every other republic in the world. The supreme power is held by the people and the representatives they elect. A president is elected through fair and popular vote to carry out the rule of law in accordance with the Constitution. This has been the state of governance in the Maldives for almost five decades now; a momentous change truly worth celebrating. The country has seen some very colorful celebrations to mark the republic day in the past. They year 1998 saw the thirtieth anniversary of the republican rule welcomed with wondrous celebrations. Since then, the biggest celebrations the country saw were this year to mark the fiftieth Independence Day.
There is no doubt that the golden jubilee of the republican rule will go down in history in bright colors with joyous memories. The fiftieth anniversary of the republic also coincides with the end of President Abdullah Yameen’s first term, giving it not only historic, but political significance as well. As his first term ends giving way to another Presidential Election, President Yameen will be remembered as the President who ruled during the golden jubilees of independence and republican rule; the two things that define Maldivians and their sovereignty.