I toyed with the idea of Anni and Maumoon running as a team in the upcoming presidential elections; anyone of them could have been running mate to the other. That was in February of this year. But then, Maumoon announced his running mate in August just before ratifying the new constitution of the country.
Since then, there seems to have been a dearth of acceptable leaders for choosing as running mates. None of the presidential hopefuls have been comfortable in announcing a running mate to team up with, for the presidential race. I am confused by this undecidedness and lack of posture. Some would call it political tactic, but I would not.
Anni had opposition from his party ranks for appointing a woman to be his running mate, solely for the sake of Islam. They held their beliefs in faith over the constitution. That is to be expected where religion comes above all. Anni was to have announced a running mate at the formal launch of his presidential campaign, but felt shy of it. With less than three weeks in any practical terms, (provided the parliament can complete the marathon to the deadline of passing the electtoral bills and appointing a supreme court bench); to meet the constitutional deadline for holding elections; Anni has still not even hinted at a possible running mate.
Tonight, Jumhooree Party held a special ceremony at Dharubaaruge, which was seemingly to announce Gasim’s running mate; he too felt shy of it. There was widespread speculation and several pointers in the media to the effect that Munavvar would be Gasim’s running mate. Yet, he gave an unprecented campaign speech and then apologized for a “strategic” delay to the announcement.
Hassan Saeed, Ibra and Umaru have all been saying that they would be announcing strong persons as their running mates. Yet, seem to be shying away from making an announcement too. Media reports of a statement by MDP acting president Ibrahim Hussain Zaki, of an invitation to Hassan Saeed to join with a party – seemed to point to a possibility of him becoming Anni’s running mate! It could be the next “big bang” of the dynamic political reality in the Maldives, after tonight’s failed announcement.
The big question is the reasons that’s holding these leaders from making such a simple announcement. I am sure those who have far reaching plans for the country for a five year term, must have seriously thought about the delivery mechanisms. How can that be true, if they are not sure of the team who would deliver it; let alone a possible vice president.
The underlying fact seems to be nothing but political immaturity. I sincerely hope that these presidential hopefuls would be more collected, composed and decided. Otherwise there’s no need for a race that would lack decisiveness even at the first step by all but one of the contenders.
A disappointing announcement at the last minute cannot be a strategic decision!