New Maldives pres names record number of female ministers

New Maldives president Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on Saturday appointed his cabinet with a record number of female ministers including the archipelago's first woman defence minister.

A total of 19 cabinet ministers was sworn in along with Solih's attorney general at the president's office on Saturday.

Solih had named a record seven women to his cabinet including his spokesperson Mariya Ahmed Didi as the country's first female defence minister.

Former president Gayoom's daughter Yumna Maumoon was appointed as the new arts, culture and heritage minister.

The other notable appointee was Gasim's youngest spouse Aishath Nahula as the civil aviation and transport minister.

The most surprising appointment was religiously conservative Adhaalath Party (AP) leader Sheikh Imran Abdulla as the country's new home minister.

Former foreign minister and speaker Abdulla Shahid was appointed as the country's new top diplomat.

The new government had been tight-lipped over the cabinet with each political party tipped to get a percentage.

AVAS had reported earlier that 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.