Ex-TV anchor and former vice president Mohammed Waheed Hassan has been sworn in as president of the Maldives after increased public pressure forced his predecessor Mohammed Nasheed to resign on Tuesday (7 February).
Nasheed's dramatic resignation followed a mutiny by the Indian archipelago's police force, which saw officers taking control of the Male headquarters of the state broadcaster MNBC and renaming it TV Maldives.
On Monday night protesters had also attacked the opposition-linked private VTV television station.
Waheed says he now intends to form a government of national unity and confirmed that next year's presidential elections will go ahead as planned.
"I support the peaceful efforts of a large number of Maldivians trying to protect the Maldives constitution and religion. At this time I call upon all the institutions especially law enforcement agencies (the military) to uphold the constitution and the laws of the country," the new president posted.
"Refrain from obeying unconstitutional and illegal instructions. During this difficult time no chance should be given to anyone trying to hurt the people of our country or damage their property, especially no room should be afforded to those who would damage news agencies and media. I am saddened that VTV and other places in Male have been attacked," added Waheed.
Calls for the resignation of former president Nasheed had become more voluble in recent weeks following his order to arrest a senior criminal court judge, Abdulla Mohamed. The judge had released an opposition leader who had been detained without a warrant, and was arrested by the military on Monday (16 January), in spite of opposition from the Supreme Court and many in the government - including Waheed.
During the ensuing public protests, journalists were reportedly threatened and harassed by officials from the Maldives Government over their television coverage of the political crisis.
Nasheed, who was widely credited with bringing democracy to the Indian Ocean archipelago, said during his resignation he did not want to "run the country with an iron-fist".
"Dr Waheed", who is reportedly the first Maldivian to earn a doctorate from Stanford University in California, previously held senior positions for Unicef in Tanzania, Bangladesh and New York. He was also the Maldives' first TV anchor, and claims to be the first person to be shown live on the islands' TV station when it went on air in 1978.