The people of Maldives were given a new constitution by President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, when he ratified the country’s multi-million Rufiyaa constitution at 1031hrs on August 7, 2008. He also concluded his final preparations for launching his presidential campaign in accordance with the new constitution just before its ratification. He appointed his colleague, DRP Vice Leader Thasmeen as his running mate to team up with him for the presidential elections.
Other presidential candidates who have embarked on campaigning for the upcoming presidential elections have not yet announced their running mates. They seem to be alone on the presidential trial resulting from a lack of political strategy and informed wisdom. All others except Dr. Hassan Saeed seem to lack sufficient choices for a running mate. He is likely to appoint his New Maldives colleague Dr. Shaheed as his running mate. But Hassan has refused to confirm this, thus leaving room for speculation; which means he can bring on a veteran government servant or businessman to team up with him. This is quite likely as Hassan’s New Maldives colleagues, Shaheed and Jameel seem to have the capacity to support and let their chosen friend lead them – unlike the key players in the country’s political playing field.
The new comer to the presidential race, yet to formerly be nominated by his party to run in the presidential race, Gasim Ibrahim, will have to choose a running mate soon. It is likely that there will be strong competition from within the high-profile team that he has with him. However, with Gasim at the helm, the team maybe more likely to accept his decisions than remove themselves from the party, as has been the case with DRP, PA and MDP. Gasim will have choices though.
MDP Presidential Candidate Anni, who is blamed by ex-party members for bringing down the party to its knees, due to his immature and egoisitic tendencies, now have few choices for the selection of a running mate. He may have to rely on Chairperson Mariya as a running mate. If Anni is to run with her, that would give credibility to him and the party by associating with the global trends in political thinking.
The others who have announced their intention to run in the upcoming Presidential Election 2008 do not have many choices for coming up with running mates other than their close party-activists. But it is becoming clear by the day, that it is not political activism that would win elections, but wisdom and a long term vision coupled with a planned strategy.
The choice of a running mate of a presidential candidate and the process of selection really says very much about the capabilities and the wisdom of the candidate. Maumoon has proven to be tactful and have the capacity to listen to the pulse of his supporters, also steering their pulse and synchronizing with his.