In 2008, President Gayoom stepped down as Mohamed Nasheed won the presidential election. Nasheed encountered several challenges as a new president, including a massive debt, economic instability as a result of the 2004 tsunami, and unemployment to name but a few.
Social unrest prevailed over the next couple of years, and on February 7, 2012 Mohamed Nasheed stepped down, blaming a coup for his resignation. Later investigations dismissed the claims of a coup and a summary report said he resigned voluntarily.
Vice President Mohammed Hassan was sworn in as president, and in March 2012 the new regime declared that a previously proposed election (one to decide a new president) would not be held.
In November, 2013, Abdulla Yameen, the half-brother of former President Abdul Gayoom, appeared to win the latest presidential election. Mohamed Nasheed's party finally conceded defeat in March, 2014 clearing the way for the new political coalition to take over.
Throughout the past few decades the Maldives has transformed itself into a popular fishing, scuba diving, surfing and exotic resort and spa destination.
The Maldives has pledged to become a carbon-neutral country by 2019.
Efforts continue to reclaim (solid ground) from the shallow waters of the surrounding reefs, but its precarious elevation above sea level is an on-going concern for all who call this beautiful place home.