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Maumoon Abdul Gayoom (Dhivehi: މައުމޫނު އަބްދުލް ގައްޔޫމް) (born December 29, 1937) was President of the Maldives from 1978 to 2008; currently, he is the leader of the opposition, heading the Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party. After serving as Minister of Transport, he was elected as President by the Majlis and succeeded Ibrahim Nasir on November 11, 1978. He eventually became the longest-ruling head of government in Asia. After 30 years in office, he was defeated in the October 2008 presidential election and was succeeded by an ex prisoner, Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldivian Democratic Party on November 11, 2008.