Nasheed held world's first underwater cabinet meeting

Nasheed held world's first underwater cabinet meeting

Maldives 44-year-old President Mohamed Nasheed, who quit Tuesday, hit the global headlines three years ago when he held a cabinet meeting under water to highlight global warming and the threat to his atoll nation.

In an innovative move aimed at grabbing attention, Nasheed and his ministers were in full scuba gear as they met for about 30 minutes at a depth of six metres just north of the capital Male in 2009.

Nasheed was the first democratically elected president in the history of the Maldives, said the president's official website

He was elected president Oct 28, 2008, defeating incumbent president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who ruled the Maldives from 1978-2008.

Nasheed graduated from Liverpool University in 1989 with a Bachelor of Arts in Maritime Studies.

In 1990, Nasheed helped establish Sangu, a political magazine that scrutinised the ruling political class. The government banned Sangu within a year of its first publication and Nasheed was arrested and jailed.

In 2003, Nasheed fled the Maldives. A year later, on Nov 10, 2004, he co-founded the country's first opposition party, the Maldivian Democratic Party, in exile in Sri Lanka.

After spending 18 months in self-imposed exile, Nasheed returned to the Maldives April 30, 2005 to establish the MDP in the Maldives, defying a government edict banning political parties.