The second round of the presidential elections is over and so is its anticlimax finale. It will take a week for the elections commission to announce the obvious though the head of the current regime (as we like to call it) has conceded defeat to the leader of the opposition who won the elections with a clear majority.
Amidst the calm and the quiet that followed the announcement of the election results, the most fascinating thing that struck me was that I had a valid reason to be proud to be a Maldivian. [I have always argued against this slogan by President Maumoon, for reason I have explained in earlier blogposts here.]
The peace and the tranquility that is our heritage was at play on that day and it was enhanced by the true colors of the winners of the day. The true colors of Anni and Maumoon shocked the world in disbelief. Their collective wisdom and character in unprecedented for the history of bitterness they shared.
I was most impressed by how Maumoon, being an uncontestable leader for thirty years, conceded defeat and publicly gave his support for a peaceful transfer of power to the president-elect; as well as his simple response (“the problem of 30 years”) for why he lost the elections.
Anni’s call to the people to show humility in winning and to have strength in loosing, is examplary of an activist-turned-head-of-state. He also brought a new paradigm to the tranfer process and beyond, when he said that past rulers are an important institution of the nation.
I salute both men for their love of this nation. Now is Anni’s turn to lead the people, uninterrupted by friends and family. It will be for the future historians to determine who is the champion of our liberal democracy!
Anni and Maumoon won the game! Will the People?
Listen to Anni’s first statement to the media here.