New govt to announce cabinet Sat evening

Maldives' new government would announce its ministerial cabinet later Saturday, hours after the official inauguration of the country's new president Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, President's Office has said.

Solih Solih is set to be sworn in a grand ceremony at the national football stadium in the capital Male on Saturday with over a thousand invitees to witness the inauguration.

The new government would establish four new ministries taking the total to 19 as opposed to the 15 of the incumbent government.

AVAS had earlier reported the coalition has already agreed the composition of the cabinet with each political party to get a percentage.

Main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) would get 40 percent, with 25 percent business tycoon Gasim Ibrahim's Jumhoory Party (JP) and 20 percent for former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom. The other main party in the coalition, religiously conservative Adhaalath Party (AP) would receive the smallest slice with 15 percent, the source detailed.

President's Office said the government officially swear in the cabinet during a ceremony on Saturday evening.

Among the high-level dignitaries attending the ceremony include the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is scheduled to arrive in the Maldives on the day of the inauguration ceremony.

Maldives remains the only South Asian neighbour that Modi has not visited since taking office in 2014.

He dropped the Maldives from a 2015 tour of Indian Ocean countries because of the political situation there with massive anti-government protests and heightened tension that led to the arrest and prosecution of former president Mohamed Nasheed.

Other notable attendees include former Sri Lanka president Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga and China's culture and tourism minister Luo Shugang.

Veteran lawmaker Solih - backed by the country's foremost political leaders including former presidents Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and Mohamed Nasheed pulled off a stunning victory in the presidential elections in September defeating incumbent president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom.