A Maldives Makeunder

A Maldives Makeunder

By Anonymous (not verified), March 6, 2009

Need a lightly-used yacht in good condition? Check out the one that the president of Maldives is trying to sell on eBay.

Mohamed Nasheed, a former political activist and prisoner, was democratically elected the country’s president last year. Since taking office in November 2008, Nasheed has been shaking things up and changing the traditional role of Maldives’ president.

The presidential palace is now empty and there is talk of turning it into a museum or the country's first university. BBC reports that the exclusive presidential island complete with "luxury beach villas, a tree house for the presidential children, a private cricket pitch, and of course the presidential beach" is in the process of being opened to the public — and possibly being converted to a marine research facility. President Nasheed has even changed the location of the presidential office, opting for a more subtle space that used to belong to the previous president’s personal assistant.

The luxuries of the presidential life used to cost the country $150 million a year — approximately 13 percent of GDP &mdash. Now it's down to $4 million. Nasheed believed there were more important ways to spend those funds. "I don't feel the cut, and we can use the rest of the money for old age pensioners, for schools, for housing and very many things we need now."

To see the presidential "bling" check out this BBC tour of Maldives.

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