COLOMBO, August 25, 2013 (AFP) – Maldivian Foreign Minister Abdul Samad Abdullah died Sunday while undergoing treatment for kidney and heart disease in a Singapore hospital, the government said. He was 67. Abdullah was a key ally of President Mohamed Waheed who is seeking re-election in September 7 elections in the Indian Ocean atoll nation.
Waheed declared three days of mourning for Abdullah who was buried in Singapore, the government said.
Education Minister Asim Ahmed was made acting foreign minister, it added.
The Maldives, a nation of 1,192 tiny coral islands populated by 330,000 Sunni Muslims, has been troubled by political unrest in recent years. Waheed came to power after the controversial resignation in February 2012 of Mohamed Nasheed, the country’s first democratically elected president, after weeks of street protests capped by a police mutiny.