Category Archives: Politics

Upcoming Presidential Elections 2013

The Maldives will be holding its second presidential elections under the August 2008 constitution, on September 7, 2013.

President Nasheed has already submitted his application and his candidacy has been approved by the Elections Commission. It is expected that four other applications will be submitted next week, including that of Gasim Ibrahim of Jumhooree Party, Yaameen Abdul Gayyoom of Progressive Party, and independent candidates Ahmed Saud and current president Mohamed Waheed Hassan.

President Nasheed has vowed to make a come back in the first round of the presidential elections, which he is contesting “to put right” what he claims to be a coup by the military and the opposition in which he was forced to resign under duress. His VP Waheed Hassan who was later sworn in as president has maintained that the transfer of power was legitimate and it was not a coup. A commission of national inquiry which was co-chaired by the Commonwealth supported his claims.

President Waheed has been dealt the biggest pre-election blow thus far. His coalition partners Adhaalath Party and Gaumee Iththihaad party has deserted him, to join the presidential hopeful Gasim Ibrahim. They claim that family influence has marginalized coalition partners.

President Waheed has announced his decision to press ahead and contest the elections with his running mate Thasmeen Ali, the leader of Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party, DRP. He is said to have already got the 1,500 signatures required to submit the application as an independent presidential candidate.

Comments Off on Upcoming Presidential Elections 2013

Posted by on July 19, 2013 in Presidential Election 2013


My Voice Counts

What a beautiful slogan it is! And indeed a meaningful and worthwhile one too.

The Human Rights Day message of the Office of the Human Rights Commissioner for Human Rights of the UN reads, “Everybody has the right to have their voice heard and to have a role in making the decisions that shape their communities. Each one of us should be able to choose those people who will represent us in all governance institutions, to stand for public office, and to vote on the fundamental questions that shape our individual and collective destines.” Read the full message here

The message is preceded by the qoute, ”

“Where we come from does not determine who we can become. … No matter who we are, no matter whether we are man or woman, or rich or poor: My voice, my right. My voice counts.”

The Maldives Human Rights Commission issued a seven line message which included a four line salutation to announce that it was also the 9th anniversary of the commission and to send greetings of the day to those residing in the republic.

Human Rights Day 2012











The commission also held a grand ceremony to mark the occasion at Traders Hotel, the top hotel in the country with the voice of the Vice President that counts in a nation where the average man seems to have lost his voice or say. In a separate function held at the Foreign Ministry, the State Minister of Foreign Affairs defended the position of her government on the human rights front and challenged accusations of negligence by stating that the Maldives holds the Vice Chair of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, and that no country has expressed concern over the country’s human rights record.

Comments Off on My Voice Counts

Posted by on December 11, 2012 in Politics, Society


Tags: , ,

Violation of Article 30

Article 30 of the Maldives Constitution (Freedom to form political parties, associations and societies) states,

(a) Every citizen has the right to establish and to particpate in the activities of political parties.

(b) Eveyone has the freedom to form associations and societies including the following:

1. the right to establish and participate in any association or society for economic, social, educational or cultural purposes;

2. the right to form trade unions, to participate or not to participate in their activities. END QOUTE

However, in the current debate on the Political Parties Bill in the Maldives parliament, major political parties seem to have assumed a double standard for section (a) and section (b) of the article.

In the extensions of law to article 30 section (b) the parliament did not interpret that it was necessary or within the greater interest of the nation to limit the possible number of trader unions, associations or societies in respect to the population of the country or other factors of national interest. However in the interpretation of the phrase “right to establish and to participate”, in relation to section (a) of the same – article 30, the parliament seems to be taking a stand to limit the right to freedom of thought and association in political parties, to those powerful enough to create cult followings, from my understanding of what has been reported in the media today.

The day this bill is enacted into law which limits the right to association in political parties to blocks of 5000 or whatever-thousand of poplulation, in gross violation of the Constitution will be a dark day in the history of the struggle for democracy and good governance in the Maldives. Icons of political reform in the country would perhaps keep quiet on this violation, as it is in their favor.

Comments Off on Violation of Article 30

Posted by on October 29, 2012 in My Concerns, Politics


Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Time for regional political parties!!!

MP Ahmed Shiyam Mohamed speaking during a Parliament session: Shiyam is set to establish a new political party. PHOTO/ PARLIAMENT SECRETARIAT | via Haveeru Online

Haveeru Online has reported that resort owner, businessman and MP Ahmed Siyam Mohamed will form a new political party, and that the work on the formation of the party will commence within a week.

This will add to the already existing 15 parties that are registered in the country. The political party bill is yet to be made into law by the parliament.

Political parties are paid to the tune of 2% of the national budget. They enjoy unprecedented freedom from prosecution and other liberties unheard of for ordinary people, due to their positions of influence in the shaky democracy which is characterized by institutional and legislative gaps and failures that give abundant space for politicians to manipulate the government and state institutions to their benefit.

It is really high time that the people of the islands started seriously thinking about the concentration of political power in the capital Male’ and in the hands of few families and individuals.

Formation of regional political parties based in Kulhudhuffushi, Naifaru, Gan in Laamu Atoll, Thinadhoo in Haa Dhaalu Atoll, Fuvah Mulah and Addu City may very well play to ease the high political tensions which are concentrated in the capital Male’. The current political landscaping also helps individuals sitting in Male’ to control the remote communities from the capital Male’ more than the people in the island communities themselves.

A clear example of this is how the parliament has legalized the mechanism through control of elected councilors in the atoll and island councils. The councilors do not have any choice but to bow down to the higher ups in Male’ if they want to retain their seats. Because sacking from the party will mean losing the council seat as stipulated by law.

It is time for the island communities to overcome and free themselves from the shackles of the forces united to keep them under control.

Comments Off on Time for regional political parties!!!

Posted by on June 20, 2012 in Politics


Tags: , , , ,

MPs take allowance for committee meetings not held

A meeting of the Finance Committee of Parliament in session | via Haveeru Online

Members of Parliament has been given the controversial committee allowance of 20,000.00 Rufiyaa each for the month of March. The decision to pay the committee allowance to MPs was made at a meeting of the Finance Committee which approved the deal, despite no committee meetings being held for the month of March.

It is not an issue of MPs being paid an allowance. They are paid a monthly remuneration package of 62,500.00 Rufiyaa for the seats they occupy on behalf of the constituencies they represent.

The committee allowance of 20,000.00 Rufiyaa is the salary of permanent secretaries who are the top civil servants.The controversial committee allowance was approved by parliament for “the additional work” they do in the committees of the parliament. And this is not necessarily work done overtime.

A lot of critical legislation which should have been completed by the parliament are still pending, and the MPs spend much of their time in scuffles with each other and engaged in political drama which is aired lived for their personal benefit. Several meetings are cancelled due to a lack of quorum with the MPs paid beyond the means of the public coffer.

The committee allowance alone is 1.5 million Rufiyaa for the month of March. This is when the Ministry of Islamic Affairs has gone into competition with the civil society to raise funds for the maintenance of mosques in the country, as the government cannot afford it. The ministry expects to raise 1.5 million Rufiyaa through its week long effort, by putting donations boxes in mosques.

Many parliamentarians have been accused of high corruption and bagging millions of Rufiyaa in the “transfer fees” from party to party, which though not proven have been allegations made in the protected confines of parliament by MPs with immunity from prosecution, though the accusations are aired on public TV.

In sum total, the current Maldives parliament seems to be widely perceived as an inefficient monster which has become a burden on its people.

Comments Off on MPs take allowance for committee meetings not held

Posted by on June 18, 2012 in Politics


Tags: , ,

Intelligence Services of the Security Forces

Former Head of Police Intelligence, Chief Superintendent of Police Mohamed Hameed “under arrest” | Photo via Haveeru Online

The former head of intelligence at the Maldives Police Services has been arrested on charges of alleged leaks of intelligence information. The subject has made frontpage headlines in local newspapers and brought supporters of the Maldivian Democratic Party onto the streets calling for his immediate release. The Maldives Police Service has issued a statement.

CSP Hameed is said to be a highly trained and exemplary officer of the Maldives Police Services.His making headlines brings some thought provoking questions to the my mind.

What do these intelligence officers do? Who do they work for? How much of their work is dedicated to the governments they serve? How much of their loyalty is owed to the people who run the government? How much of the information they gather are used by politicians who command them?

The new realities of governance under the August Constitution of 2008 has in a short span of time given the people of Maldives, three governments. Government of President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who is considered by his supporters to be the father of democracy. The Government of President Mohamed Nasheed, who is considered by his supporters to be the champion of democracy. And the Government of President Mohamed Waheed Hassan, who is considered by his supporters (or supporters of those who put him there) to be the savior of democracy.

The Maldives Police Services and the Maldives National Defense Force have intelligence departments who eavesdrop on unsuspecting citizens. There is no law which hold these officers accountable for the use of state of the art technology to eavesdrop on its citizens and use the material to blackmail and harass people for the benefit of their masters – the political heavy weights.

We have seen instability at its highest peak levels in the country since the run up to and after the August Constitution. This has given the space for the military and their civil counterparts in the police force to gain prominence throughout the instability of the August Constitution. They are the guardians who have the means and the resources to protect the governments from the public.

The governments of President Maumoon and President Nasheed and President Waheed have depended heavily on the military and the police for their protection and keeping themselves safe from the people they rule. The military and the police forces have been used extensively for political purposes. And will understandably continue to be so.

The story of Chief Superintendent of Police Mohamed Hameed will be an interesting chapter in the fight for control of the police and the military by the political forces that rule the teething democracy and the people who aspired to live a decent life of prosperity beyond a monarchy style government since independence in 1965.

It is highly unlikely that anything will change that will change the monarchical characteristics of the Maldivian Government. At least, not in the near future. I believe that what we are seeing is a restructuring and rebranding of the King’s Court.

Comments Off on Intelligence Services of the Security Forces

Posted by on June 15, 2012 in Politics


Tags: , ,

Maldives Parliament

Parliament in Session: Maldivian Liberal Democracy

The Maldives parliament known as the People’s Majlis is the highest institution of the land.

They are empowered by the Constitution (the latest is the August Constitution) to appoint the Judicial Services Commission, the Anti Corruption Commission, the Auditor General, the Prosecutor General, Police Integrity Commission, the Broadcasting Commission, and many other institutions that would protect and rights of the people enshrined in the August Constitution. They can even sack the President who is elected by a direct vote of the people.

Their well-being and welfare is designated to their whim and wish. They have no checks on them. Because they are The People.

The Maldives parliament has been unique in its unreasonableness and its arrogance since the August Constitution and to the run up of the rushed document that gave way to the new political reality that the leaders of the day seem to enjoy so much with undreamt of luxuries and immunities brought onto themselves by themselves.

Comments Off on Maldives Parliament

Posted by on June 13, 2012 in Politics


Reinventing the Wheel of Local Governance (2)

[The following is a glimpse of a piece of my mind. You are not required to believe it, to accept it, nor to act upon it. Please read at your own risk. It is not my intention, to promote it; but to exercise my right of freedom of thought.]

(continued from before)

The local councils charged to run the affairs of the administrative units – city council, atoll council and island council administrative parts, of the nation was preempted by councilors appointed by the President. The councilors so appointed, replaced the atoll chiefs and functioned as oversight government officials at the island level.

Once the councilors were elected, the councils mandated to run the affairs of the localities seemed to fashion themselves more like lower houses of people’s representatives. They became somewhat miniature governments of sorts. The ensuing confusion created ample space for a complete break down of a unitary state in the country, as determined by the August Constitution.

Local councils have become more like power houses to consolidate political supremacy rather than a municipal services agency that ensured efficiency and effectiveness in governance, an empowered administration closer to home, and decentralization of services. The ensuing battle of parties have created chaos and confusion for both the local authorities as well as the communities. The extent of the dilemma facing the people today, are exemplified in two incidents during the span of a week.


The only member of the opposition party DRP who also happened to be the only female member of the Thulhaadhoo Island Council was dismissed for failing to attend 10 consecutive meetings of the council. Now that sounds really callous of the council member, hah! And she was expelled after consultation with the Local Government Authority (LGA) under the control of the Home Minister, who said that they had also sought the advice of the Attorney General.

The particular councilor was out of the island when these meetings were held, to attend a workshop on Governance and Development according to media reports attributed to the councilor. And also seven of the ten meetings were emergency meetings, and she had not been sent any notifications of the meetings. The grounds for the dismissal by the other members who were all ruling party MDP member is this – she had not submitted a letter notifying her leave of absence, though she claims that she did inform the President of the island council.

the Local Government Authority  is the democratic name for the Ministry of Atolls Administration of the dictatorial regime of the past! The Home Minister of the present is made more powerful than the Atolls Administration Minister due to his direct control over the Maldives Police Services.


A no confidence vote of the President of the Male City Council or the Mayor of Male City was table earlier this week. The agenda item was later withdrawn by councilor Falah who is also a member of the national council of the Maldives Democratic Party. Prior to this, the council which has a clear majority of the MDP passed a resolution forbidding the Mayor to attend any meetings by himself to represent the council.

Male City Council comprise of eleven councilors of whom two belong to the Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party. The other members who belong to MDP are deeply divided and have their allegiance to the respective factions within the party.

The frictions between the councilors mean that there is complete confusion in everything and it is almost impossible to get things done, according to sources from within the city council administration.

the Addu City Council which has all its members from the MDP, are not in any better shape, either. They seem to be doing something, but the friction between the factions loyal to a particular MP and another strongman of the MDP, means that it is also treading a path of uncertainty.

The proponents of the current chaos will simply put the events into a circle called “teething problems of a young democracy”. Such people are usually not affected by the events!

(to be continued in Part 3)

Comments Off on Reinventing the Wheel of Local Governance (2)

Posted by on July 7, 2011 in Politics


Tags: , ,

Reinventing the Wheel of Local Governance

[The following is a glimpse of a piece of my mind. You are not required to believe it, to accept it, nor to act upon it. Please read at your own risk. It is not my intention, to promote it; but to exercise my right of freedom of thought.]

The constitutional multiparty democracy imposed upon the People of Maldives by the August Constitution (in a mess) has proved to be an unbearable burden on the people of the peaceful land of a nation who used to be subservient to its monarchs in every facet of life – Maldives!

We were a people who derived our peace and happiness by near worship of our rulers and elders. A people void of a mind of individuality but a collective mind driven by fear and our pride in our folklore which everyone was indoctrinated to be proud of. A people who dwelt in their pride of folklore heritage carried forth from generation to generation by myth and folklore.

A nation of tribal instinct and design!

The five-star August Constitution determined that we were a civilized people and promised a nation of prosperity. The language and the concepts driven from the civilized world were alien in its form and origin; and added more than just a pinch of luxury to lure the people to a taste of paradise before the Day of Judgement.

Foreign hands and minds drafted the August Constitution. It was modified and “perfected” in the midst of personal vendetta and a dream future of absolute luxury and personal space and freedom for all. The inner desires of the very people who claimed a false authorship of the Constitution were in direct conflict with the civilized values of humanity, and the spirit of liberal democracy of which the constitution boasted.

Local Government or Local Governance!

The August Constitution determined the setting up of administrative units comprising of geographically demarcated areas of the country. Legislation was passed to facilitate local governance but ended up with local council administrations at multiple tiers, fashioned more like lower houses of people’s representatives. The same legislation also created a Local Government Authority where there were no local governments, as the constitution required a unitary state. When put into practice, it created the synonym of the much hated Ministry of Atolls Administration of the dictatorship regime.

The legislation was so chaotic and disrupted the functioning of the state so much so that two state ministers of the government took to the Courts to prove that parts of the legislation were unconstitutional.

(to be continued in Part 2)

1 Comment

Posted by on July 4, 2011 in Politics


Tags: , ,

Government defeated by the Party for a second time in a week

The government of President Nasheed seem to have been defeated for a second time in a row in a matter of just one week. First, the government team was defeated by the MDP parliamentarians in a football match held to commemorate the sixth anniversary of the Party. Later today, the government was defeated in its tracks by the Party when it announced it was spearheading an awareness campaign to combat the dengue fever which has taken the lives of five children in a matter of 48 hours. The media has now revealed the formation by the government, of a national task force comprising of the health minister, home minister, education minister, finance minister, defense minister, Male’ city council mayor, and an under secretary of the President’s Office.

The public health crisis facing the nation which has cost more than seven lives according to media reports, have been unattended to by the Health Ministry in the confusion within the administration as to where the responsibility lies. Media reports have indicated that responsibility for public health lies within the jurisdiction of the local councils, which is hard to believe. The health ministry has been quiet on the crisis which, some claim has been in the air for the past two months around the country.

Professionals and public health experts as well as members of the intelligentsia who have expressed their concerns in the social media, and commentators in the online mainstream media have hit hard at the government for its inaction and ill-response. The Human Rights Commission of the Maldives has also joined in the cry, expressing its concerns in a press release issued today.

The press secretary of the President’s Office who announced the formation of the national task force gave no further details except that there would be a media campaign and that appropriate measures to curb the crisis through various agencies of the government.

The public seems to be in need of a Chief Public Health Officer who can be held accountable.

Related Link: Maldives hit hard by Dengue amidst the chaos in the health sector 

Comments Off on Government defeated by the Party for a second time in a week

Posted by on June 30, 2011 in Politics


Tags: , , ,

%d bloggers like this: