Category Archives: Presidential Election 2008

What next for Gayoom… (contd.)

The first person said that he would go to any extent to find him anywhere he came out into the public and to shout and remind him of the atrocities he has committed against the people of the Maldives. He said that even if President Anni has pardoned Gayoom, those who have suffered immensely under the dictatorial regime of Maumoon for 30 years cannot do the same. For him, it was important that Maumoon taste the hurt and pain of the people who suffered under his regime.

The second person said that Maumoon should leave the country and let the people taste paradise and its wonders without him. He said that the sight of Maumoon cannot be pleasing to any Maldivian today.

The third person was of the opinion that Maumoon is a statesman who has earned the respect of the international community. He said that Maumoon should build on this and contribute to national development though a foundation for the alleviation of poverty and national development. According to him, Maumoon Foundation could source international funding and assistance to develop designated areas and people issues.

I could not help wondering how different we could be in our outlook and attitude to the future. We want the same thing, yet in so different ways!


What Next for President Gayoom?

President Gayoom conceded defeat and moved out of his multi-million dollar palace handing over the responsibility of government to President Nasheed – more popularly known as President Anni. Gayoom now lives in a much smaller house – yet a luxury residence by local standards. Alivaage (the private residence of President Gayoom) belongs to his brother-in-law and former cabinet minister Ilyas Ibrahim.

In the wake of the change of power of government from President Gayoom’s thirty year rule to a more liberal and democratic form of government under President Nasheed, there is widespread speculation on the future of Maumoon and his legacy.

I had the opportunity to sit in separate conversations with three people – a resort operator, an activist, a young entrepreuner. The following are what they had in mind.

what they had to say… coming soon!


Posted by on November 12, 2008 in Leadership, Presidential Election 2008


President Nasheed takes Oath of Office

President Mohamed Nasheed (Anni) took Oath of Office of the President of Maldives around ten thirty this morning. He starts his first day of office with a renewed commitment to deliver on his five campaign promises and a promise to deliver good governance to the people.

Anni walks into office with several challenges. The first, to me, is the fact that he has decided to form a coalition government despite a candidacy that represents MDP and GIP. The new president has his hands tied by those who have demanded a portion of government in return for their support to him in the second round of presidential elections. I would have thought that in an executive presidency the government would consist of those who are from the president’s party.

There is confidence in the air that there will be change – good change. I wish the new president success in his commitment to serve the people to realize their aspirations.


Posted by on November 11, 2008 in Leadership, Presidential Election 2008


And the Winner is…

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.


To THINK: A sin in democracy …the Maldivian Style

This afternoon I sat for a cup of coffee at a table in a coffee house. An acquaintance who walked up to the table and made his input to the ongoing discussion around the table about the upcoming elections. He said to be aware of this guy Shihab, that he and the guy sitting next to him were both golhaas. Such suspicion was not new to me. I was “warned” the same the other day in another cafe frequently visited by supporters of “Vathan Edheygotha” (Pulse of the Nation). This was also not the first time – it has been an experience that I go through often.

This evening I was also with a different group of people I knew well, and one of them pointed out to the rest that I am an MDP sympathiser. That I am going around advocating for “Pulse of the Nation”. This was also not the first time. Quite a few other people who (thought they) knew me also told me how taken up by Anni I am.

It is funny, how this labelling must go on! It is sad that independent minds cannot be tolerated in this country. As one person pointed out, you have to be either black or white – because the mental attitude of the common man is “you are either with us or against us”.

Heh he… Smile


Why spread hatred of other religions!

Tolerance is key to competitive coexistence in a global village. I am surprised our politicians do not understand the difference between being Muslims and being intolerant anti-Christian and anti-Buddist. For God’s Sake, will someone open our eyes to the fact that all religions and people need to coexist. I am not saying that we should import Christianity or Buddism into this country. I am simply saying that we ought to show some respect; we have so many Christians and Buddists in our midst and working to build this nation. They don’t hate Islam – atleast as far as we can see; why should we hate their faith. Let’s just keep ours and inculcate and educate our young in the good of Islam.

When a bomb goes off in a place crowded with tourist we call “foul” and blame the extremists, but are we not fanning extremism in this country right now; and that too by leading politicians. How much better are we than the so called “terrorists”.

Note: this post has been inspired by the recent attacks on faith in the local media.


Presidential Election: Was it democractic?

Minivan News:

“Election-related legislation does provide the basic conditions for democratic elections,” the statement says, but it adds: “the requirement to meet unrealistic deadlines took precedence over good electoral practice.”

Read more about the Commonwealth Interim Statement here


Posted by on October 12, 2008 in Presidential Election 2008


Go Vote… for what?

Last night, I stopped by Alfresco on my way home. There were people gathered around the tables watching the campaign rally of Aneh Dhivehi Raajje on DhiTV. People at one of the tables started shouting filth as Dr. Mustapha Luthfy came on stage. They started with “elhaa vakikuree keevvekan engeytha!” It is always a crime to participate in political activity; for some. I clearly remember the disgrace the same man was subjected to by the champions of reform in the last parliamentary elections.

I wondered to myself, what is this democracy we have got! I sometimes wonder whether there is a need to go vote in this election. The majority seems to be hysterical if anything. Maybe there is a reason for it. There is always a reason for everything, to the minds of those who are looking for excuses.

It is true that a condition of a purposeful democracy is also civility and maturity of minds. We Maldivians have not matured to decent humanity. How can we ever have a democracy!

My friend told me that, it was however, important to go vote. Perhaps, he has been influenced by the Go Vote Campaign.


Congratulations… TVM!!!

This afternoon just an hour before six oclock, TVM made history in the historic presidential elections to happen in Maldives on October 8th. The presentation of an individual profile of each presidential candidate and a closing statement for the campaign by each candidate was a very useful last step to th election campaign. It was impressive because the profiles of the candidates were informative, unbiased and fair by all means.

I believe TVM and its staff deserve a note of congratulations for standing out as an institution of integrity and unbiased reporting. Congratulations TVM!

Comments Off on Congratulations… TVM!!!

Posted by on October 7, 2008 in Comments and Opionion, Presidential Election 2008, Presidential Race 2008


And … the winner is…!!!

A friend of mine told me today about a very iteresting incident in a school poetry writing competition years back. This was the story.

There were a group of students who were attending a tutorial on poetry writing. On the day of the poetry competition, all students attending the tutorial were asked to submit two poems each. One of the senior students from the tutorial called up a junior student and asked for her help to write a second poem for him. He was very busy and could not compile a second poem. The girl willingly agreed. She composed a poem for her senior friend and the poem was submitted to the competition.

Then, on the day of announcing the winners, the senior student won the competition; and the poem for which he won the competition was actually composed by his much junior colleague. The girl clapped, smiling, as she watched the boy walk down from the stage with his head down. To this date, the winner of the competition is not the one who actually composed the poem.

The truth will not always win. And it is only some people who can digest the victory which is theirs – yet attributed to a more undeserving person.

Are we ready to face the reality? The winner may not always be the true champion after all. That is the real world! Reality sucks!

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