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Category Archives: Presidential Election 2008

Rush Elections will be Undemocratic


The Maldives boasted its August Constitution to be an exemplary work of liberal Islamic democracy – a first of its kind for the world. Elections for a new president under the new constitution was initially dragged at snail’s speed and then rushed to meet the October 10th deadline imposed by the constitution. News laws have been put in place, along with the Elections Commission, Judicial Services Commission, the Supreme Court; and the Anti Corruption Board would be in place within the next few days.

Yet, fresh criteria of eligibility has been imposed for standing in the elections, by the first ever independent elections commission of the Maldives. This requirement passed into law asks independent presidential candidates to submit signatures of 1500 persons (to be collected within five days) who support their candidacy; which is a gross violation of the constitution according to famous lawyer Idham Muiz Adnan who has announced his desire to run the presidential race. Presidential candidate of Social Liberal Party, Ibra, has also said that he would challenge the legality of the October 8th Elections.

The Elections Commission has also given a period of just seven days, for those residing in islands other than their registered localities. This would be that for the first time in history, around 35000 people living in Male’ – who are registered in other localities will have to do it within this short period of time. It is yet unclear how the process will be managed and meaningfully verified in such a rush manner.

If the past is anything to go by, it is very clear that a large number of people who reside in Male’ and are registered to other localities will be denied their right to vote due to a technicality. Key officials argue that it would be the problem of the voters if they do not register themselves in time, and should be not be taken as the responsibility of the government and the state institutions including the parliament who claim they have become independent of the executive for the first time.

The major political parties, key government institutions and officials argue that this would be a free and fair election; and that these minor abnormalities cannot be avoided and should be accepted, in the true spirit of the new constitution and the democracy that it has brought alongwith.

The ordinary folk can only ponder at the “dictatorial and militant” nature of the parliament and the state institutions (compelled by the constitutions according to them) in the first few weeks immediately following the New Dawn to a true democracy. They seem to be far more “blind” to due process and democratic principles than the “dictatorship” that they replaced.

What a Shame! The people are a marginalized minority in the best interest of the political power brokers.

 
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Posted by on September 19, 2008 in Majlis, My Concerns, Presidential Election 2008

 

Running Mates and their Candidate's Pole Position


Running mates are now almost in place for the presidential candidates who have announced their candidacy in the upcoming presidential elections. Maumoon first announced his running mate, Thasmeen Ali, who is very much of a loyalist to him and therfore a shadow to him. Then it was Gasim who made the announcement, Ahmed Ali Sawad, a PhD student who is new to the country and the reform and democracy movement, who simply makes Gasim himself the candidate and the running mate. It was followed by Hassan Saeed, who chose his friend and colleague Dr. Shaheed to run with him, putting forth more of an equal mate. Finally Anni announced Dr. Waheed, “the earlier reformist” who is “a well-know figure” and in a way a senior to him.

It would be interesting to see how the choice and the timing of the announcement of running mates affect the pole position of the candidates. The reality is that Maldivian political demography has matured, and however much a political figure is well-knowN or popular, is not any guarantee that will make it easier to sell him for a pole position – not anymore. It is those who can identify with, and merge with the pulse of the grassroots that would get votes. This has been very clear from the pictures emerging from the ever dynamic political landscape within the country, last three weeks or so. Though popularity and money will play a part, it would be substance and conviction that would lead the vote, in my opinion. I believe the will of the people will prevail, and that it would be an informed and calculated decision by the majority of the people. Who will win, depends on who can convince the people of this and build momentum upto October 8th.

Anni and Maumoon are believed in the pole position for now followed by Gasim and Hassan. Yet, the fast paced momentum of changes makes uncertainty the certainty of the day.

 

Presidential Elections are likely to happen before the Tenth


The first presidential elections under the August 2008 constitution is now set to happen on October 8, 2008. However there’s still doubt as to whether parliament will approve the list of Justices submitted to parliament by the president, who are to fill the Supreme Court bench.

Anni has also announced his running mate followed by Gasim who announced a complete “foreigner” to the political arena and government as his running mate. Anni’s choice was political veteran Dr. Waheed who was the icon of reform and democracy in the form that we see today – way before it was a public outcry.

As the campaigns seem to mature from infancy, there are two things that the presidential hopefuls seem to be competing on; what they will do for the people and payback for their services and sacrifices to the nation and people in the past. Maumoon is asking to be reinstated for a further term to fulfill the objects of his services to the people for the last 30 years, Anni wants to be recognized for his contribution to reform and democracy, Dr. Waheed for his initiative in leading the reform mindset, Gasim for his philanthropy and love of the ordinary folk; and the rest do not seem to have anything they have given to the people that is worthy or reward.

What goes through my mind is – are we to choose a president to reward for his past contributions and based on a shopping list that cannot be verified for its feasibility in the rush that has been compelled by the “mindless” constitution? However, we have to agree that we have made great strides from where we were, in creating a democratic process and an environment that can facilitate nation building towards a true democracy. This election will definitely be marred by several shortcomings and blunders, but it is definitely better than a system that breeds dictatorial regimes.

The challenge to the Elections Commission would be to educate the people on the spirit and prinicples of a true democracy and the right of the people to choose.

As is now, it still seems more like let the best man standing win. It may not necessarily be on merits of leadership, vision, governance capabilities and ability to deliver in an ever challening and dynamic socio-economic environment. It will be an election which will be so fast paced that the following day will be an anti-climax as a wise friend told me.

 
 

Migarunuge Bodu Khiyaanaaiy: Dhivehi Rayyithunnah


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ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު
ދިވެހިންނަށް މިއަދު މިވަނީ އީދެއް އައިސްފައވެ. ދިވެހިންނަށް އާގާނޫނު އަސާސީއެއް ލިބިއްޖެއެވެ. ޒަމާނުއްސުރެ ވަކިބަޔަކު ރައްޔިތުންގެ މައްޗަށް ކުރަމުން އައި ވެރިކަމަށް ނިމުމެއް އަތުވެއްޖެއެވެ. ރައްޔިތުން މިހާރު ތައްޔާރުވަމުންދަނީ އާގާނޫނު އަސާސީގެ ދަށުން ބާއްވާ ފުރަތަމަ ރިއާސީ އިންތިޚާބު އޮކްޓޫބަރު 10 ގެ ކުރިން ބާއްވަންޖެހެއެވެ. ކަންބޮޑުވާންޖެހޭ ކަމަކީ، އާގާނޫނު އަސާސީގެ ދަށުން ބާއްވާ ފުރަތަމަ އިންތިޚާބަކީ މިނިވަން އަދުލުވެރި އިންސާފަކަށް ވުމުގެ ފުރުސަތު ގެއްލިފައިވާކަމެވެ. ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު
މިހަގީގަތަށް ދިވެހިރާއްޖޭގެ ސިޔާސީލީޑަރުންނާއި ދައުލަތުގެ ކަމާބެހޭ މުވައްސަސާތަކުންވަނީ ކަނުވެފައެވެ. ރައްޔިތުންނަށް ޑިމޮކްރަސީއެއްގެ ދަށުން ލިބެންޖެހޭ އެންމެ އަސާސީ ހައްގު ނިގުޅައިގަނެވިފައިވާކަން އެފަރާތްތަކަށް ނޭގެއެވެ. ނުވަތަ ތިބީ ޣާފިލުވެފައވެ. މިއީ ހިތާމައިގެ ކޮޅެއެއްނެތްކަމެކެވެ. އަޅުގަޑާއި ދިމާވާ ގިނަބޭފުޅުން ގަބޫލުކުރައްވާގޮތުގައި މިނިވަން އިންސާފުވެރި އިންތިޚާބަކަށް މިއިންތިޚާބު ނުވާންވީ އެއްވެސް ސަބަބެއް ނެތެވެ. ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު
އިންތިޚާބުގެ ކަންތައްތަކަށް ބަލާއިރު އެންމެ ކަންބޮޑުވާންޖެހޭ ކަމަކީ، އިންތިޚާބުތަކާބެހޭ އާންމުގާނޫނާ ރިއާސީ އިންތިޚާބާ ބެހޭ ގާނޫނު ނިމި، އެގާނޫނުތަކުގައިވާ ގޮތަށް ކަންކަން ފުރިހަމަކުރުމަށް އެކަށީގެންވާ ވަގުތު ލިބިދިނުމުގެ ފުރުސަތު ގާނޫނު އަސާސީން ބަންދުކޮށްފައިވާތީއެވެ. އެއީ ގާނޫނު އަސާސީ އެކުލަވާލި ފަރާތްތަކުގެ ތަންދޮރުނުދަތުމާއި ތަސައްރަފުނުފުދޭކަމުގެ ލާމަސީލު ހެއްކެކެވެ. ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު
އަދި ހަމައެއާއިއެކު، ރިއާސީ އިންތިޚާބަށް ކުރިމަތިލުމާއި އިންތިޚާބުގެ ކެންޑިޑޭޓުން އިއުލާނުކުރުމާއި ދެމެދު އޮތް ވަގުތުގެ ހަނިކަމުންވެސް ޖެނުއިން، ފްރީ އެންޑް ފެއަރ އިލެކްޝަނެއްގެ ޝަރުތުތައް ހަމަވާ އިންތިޚާބެއް ބޭއްވުމަށް ޖާގައެއް ނެތެވެ. ކޮންމެ ކަމެއް ކުރަންޖެހޭނީ އަވަސް އަރައިގަތުމުގެ ތެރެއިންނެވެ. ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު
ހަމައެގޮތަށް އިންތިޚާބަށް ކުރިމަތިލާފަރާތްތަކުގެ ހަރަކާތްތައް ކުރިޔަށް ގެންދެވޭނެގޮތުގެ އޮނިގަނޑެއް އެކަށައަޅާ އެއަށް ހުރިހާ ފަރާތްތަކުގެ ކޮމިޓްމަންޓު ހޯދާ އެއްބަސްކުރުވުމަށް ވެސް ފުރުސަތެއް ނެތެވެ. ހުރިހާ ފަރާތްތަކުން ހަމަހަމަގޮތެއްގައި ކެމްޕެއިންކޮށް ކެމްޕެއިނަށް ކުރާ ޚަރަދުތައް ދެނެގަނެ ބަލަހައްޓާނެ އިންތިޒާމެއް ވެސް ހަމަޖެއްސިފައެއް ނެތެވެ. މުޅި ރިއާސީ އިންތިޚާބު ފެންނަނީ ޒާތެއްގެ އަވާމެންދުރެއްގެ ސިފައިގައެވެ. ވޯޓުލާން ތިބި ރައްޔިތުން ވޯޓުގެ އިންތިޒާމުތަކާއި އިންތިޚާބުގެ ނިޒާމުގެ ސައްހަކަމާއިމެދު ހޭލުންތެރިކުރުވާ އިތުބާރު ލިބިދެވޭނެ ވަގުތެއްވެސް ނެތެވެ. ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު
ދިވެހިރާއްޖޭގެ ގައުމީ ޓީވީ އިން ކުރި ސާރވޭއެއްގައި ވޯޓުދިން ކޮންމެ ހަތަރުމީހެއްގެ ތެރެއިން ތިންމީހަކު، ކުރިޔަށް އޮތް ރިއާސީ އިންތިޚާބަކީ މިނިވަން އިންސާފުވެރި އިންތިޚާބެއްކަމުގައި ނުވާނެކަމަށް ގަބޫލުކުރާކަމަށް ދެއްކުން މިއީ މިކަމުގެ ލާމަސީލު ހެއްކެކެވެ. މިޚަބަރު ގެނެސްދިން އޮންލައިން އިނގިރޭސިބަހުންނެރޭ ނޫސް މިނިވަންނިއުސް އިން ބުނިގޮތުގައި، އިންތިޚާބުގެ ހޭލުންތެރިކަން އިތުރުކުރުމަށް މަސައްކަތްކުރާ “ގޯވޯޓް” ކެމްޕެއިންގެ ފަރާތުން ފާހަގަކުރާގޮތުގައި، އެފަރާތްތަކުގެ ހޯދުންތަކުން ދައްކާގޮތުން ގިނަބަޔަކު އިންތިޚާބުގެ އިންތިޒާމްތަކަށް އިތުބާރެއް ނުކުރެއެވެ. ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު
އަދި މިހާތަނަށް އެތައް ރަށަކަށް ޒިޔާރަތްކޮށްފައިވާ ގޯވޯޓް ކެމްޕެއިންއިން ހާމަކޮށްފައިވާ ގޮތުގައި، ޕާޓީތަކަށް ރަޖިސްޓްރީވެފައިވާ ގިނަމީހުން ގަބޫލުކުރާގޮތުގައި އެމީހުން ވޯޓުލާންޖެހޭނީ އެމީހުން ނިސްބަތްވާ ޕާޓީން ތާއީދުކުރާ ކެންޑިޑޭޓަކަށެވެ. މިނޫނަސް، ވޯޓުލާންދާ ރައްޔިތެއްގެ އޮންނަންޖެހޭ އަސާސީ މިނިވަންކަމަށް ހުރަސްއަޅާ އެތައްކަމެއް އޮތީ ރަގަޅުކުރަންޖެހިފައެވެ. އެހެންނަމަވެސް، ޑިމޮކްރަސީގެ މިމުހިންމު އަސާސްގެ މަތިން ހަނދާންނެ
ިކޮށްލާ، ސިޔާސީ ޕާޓީތަކުންނާއި ސިޔާސީލީޑަރުން އަވަދިނެތި އެއުޅުއްވަނީ ކެމްޕެއިން ކުރެއްވުމުގައެވެ. ކޮންމެ ގޮތަކުންވިޔަސް ވެރިކަން ހޯދުމަށެވެ. ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު
ވެރިކަން ބޭނުންވާ މީހުންގެ މިސިފަޔަކީ ދެބަސްވެވެން ނެތް ހަގީގަތެއްކަމުން، ދުނިޔޭގެ ޒަމާންވީ ޑިމޮކްރަސީތަކުން، މިނިވަން އިންސާފުވެރި އިންތިޚާބުތައް ބޭއްވޭނެގޮތް ދިރާސާކޮށް އެކަމުގެ އަސާސްތަކާއި އުސޫލުތައް ކަނޑައަޅާފައި ހުރެއެވެ. އެހެންނަމަވެސް، ދިވެހިރައްޔިތުންގެ މައްޗަށް ވެރިކަން ހިންގުމުގެ ވިސްނުމުގައި ތިބި މީހުން އަދިވެސް ރައްޔިތުންގެ ހައްގުތަކާމެދު ވިސްނާކަމަކަށް ނުފެނެއެވެ. ދާދިފަހުން ހުވާކުރި އިލެކްޝަންސް ކަމިޝަނަރުންވެސް، އިންސާފުވެރި އިންތިޚާބެއް ބޭއްވިދާނެތޯ ބަލާފައި އޮތްކަމަކަށް ނުފެނެއެވެ. ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު
އިންތިޚާބުގެ ކަންތައް އިންތިޒާމުކޮށް ހިންގާނެ ބަޔަކު ހޯދާ ތަމްރީނުކުރުމުގެ މަސައްކަތް މުޅިރާއްޖޭގައި އެންމެ ތިންހަފުތާގެ ތެރޭގައި ނުކުރެވޭނެކަން ކޮންމެ ދިވެއްސަކަށް އެނގޭނެއެވެ. އަދި ކޯޓުތަކުގެ ގާޒީންނާއި ފަނޑިޔާރުންނަށް ލިބިދޭންޖެހޭ ކަމާގުޅޭ މައުލޫމާތާއި ތަމްރީނުތައް މިއޮތްކުރުމުއްދަތުގެ ތެރޭގައި ނުކުރެވޭނެއެވެ. ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު
އިންތިޚާބަށް ނުސީދާގޮތުން ޚަރަދުކޮށް ނުފޫޒުފޯރުވާ ފަރާތްތަކުގެ ކަންތައްތައް ބަލަހައްޓާނެ ނިޒާމެއް ގާއިމެއް ނުކުރެވޭނެއެވެ. މީޑިޔާއިން އިންތިޚާބުގައި އަމަލުކުރާނެ އުސޫލުތައް ކަނޑައަޅާ، ހުރިހާ ކެންޑިޑޭޓުންނަށް ހަމަހަމަ ފުރުސަތު ލިއްބައެއް ނުދެވޭނެއެވެ. މިހެންގޮސް، ތިންހަފުތާގެ ތެރޭގައި ނުކުރެވޭނެ ކިތަންމެ ކަމެއް އެބައޮތެވެ. ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު
އެހެންކަމުން، އޮކްޓޫބަރު 10 ގެ ކުރިން ބާއްވާ ރިޔާސީ އިންތިޚާބުވާނީ ރައްޔިތުންނަށް ވެވޭ މިގަރުނުގެ ބޮޑު ޚިޔާނާތައެވެ. މިއީ އޮގަސްޓް 7 ގައި ތަސްދީގުކުރި ގާނޫނު އަސާސީން ދިވެހި ރައްޔިތުންނަށް ވެފައިވާ ބޮޑު ޚިޔާނާތެކެވެ. ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު
 
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Posted by on September 12, 2008 in Majlis, Presidential Election 2008

 

Dhivehin: Minivan Insaafuveri Inthikhaabakun Mahuroom Kurevifai thibi Rayyitheh!


ދިވެހިންނަށް ޒަމާނީ ޑިމޮކްރަސީއެއް ގެނެސްދިނުމަށްޓަކާ އިސްލާހުކުރި، އާގާނޫނު އަސާސީގެ ދަށުން ބާއްވާ ފުރަތަމަ ރިއާސީ އިންތިޚާބަކީ މިނިވަން އިންސާފުވެރި އިންތިޚާބެއްގެ ޝަރުތުތައް ފުރިހަމަނުވާނެ އިންތިޚާބެކެވެ. އަޅުގަޑުގެ މިވިސްނުމަށް ޖަދަލުކުރައްވަން ބޭނުންފުޅުވާ ބޭފުޅުންނަށް، ޖެނީވާގައި ހުންނަ، އިންޓަރޕާލިމެންޓަރީ ޔުނިއަން ގެ ޕަބްލިކޭޝަން (2006) ފްރީ އެންޑް ފެއަރ އިލެކްޝަންސް ވިދާޅުވުމަށް އަޅުގަޑު ދައުވަތު އަރުވަމެވެ. އަދި އޮސްޓްރޭލިޔާގެ ވިކްޓޯރިއާ ޕާލަމަންޓް ގައި ވިޒިޓިންގ ޕްރޮފެސަރ ޑރ. ފްރެޑް ފްލެޗަރ، 20 ޖޫން 2007 ގައި ފްރީ އެންޑް ފެއަރ އިލެކްޝަންސް: ރެގިއުލޭޝަންސް ދެޓް އެންޝުއަރ އަ ފެއަރ ގޯ މިމައުޟޫއުގެ މައްޗަށް ދެއްކެވި ވާހަކަފުޅުގެ ލިޔުން ބައްލަވާލެއްވުމަށް ދައުވަތު އަރުވަމެވެ. ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު
 

Political Unpreparedness: Dearth of Acceptable Running Mates!


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!

 

Our Beloved President


What should he do to us
What should he do for us
What should he do about us

Do we want him to fool us
Do we want him to rule us
Do we want him to enable us

Should he be of yester years
Should he be from the future
Should he have a vision of hope

We would be fools; to be ruled
We should learn from the past;
We should define the purpose of our hope

 
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Posted by on September 7, 2008 in Presidential Election 2008, Presidential Race 2008

 

This Ramazan: a month of Fasting, Feasting and bloody Feuds


Maldivians embrace the month of Ramadan (fasting) on Monday. Maldivians are Muslims by a constitutional decree. The country should be led by a government whose cabinet members and the Chief Executive (the President) must belong to the Sunni Muslim sect. The constitution does not limit citizenship to Sunni Muslims but limits the highest offices of government to those belonging to the Sunni sect. The proponents of the constitution argue that this is a model liberal democracy for Muslim states. This fasting month is the first time Maldivians will fast under a constitution that is labelled an Islamic Liberal Democracy.

Maldivians will embrace the teachings of Prophet Mohammadh (PBUH) in the mosques and their daily lives during the fasting month. That is what we claim. But the transformation of society and a lack of focused human development means that the nation who should be Sunni Muslims across the board will embrace a month of fasting by the day, feasting by night, and engage in bloody feuds day and night. Most of the “delicacies” of daily life during the month of Ramadan will be quite un-Islamic let alone un-Sunni.

To make matters worse, the eight hundred and sixty fortieth month that Maldivians will be fasting as Muslims, and the first month of fasting under the new constitution will also be a month of mud-slinging and character-assassination by political opponents which is quite contrary to the Teachings of the Almighty delivered to the Human Race through Prophet Mohammadh (PBUH).

Islam is the religion of peace and respect, but that would be non-existent in the Maldives for this holy month.

 

And the winner is … ?


Gasim Ibrahim launched his campaign for the presidential bid Friday night with a series of unprecedented promises to make a turnaround for the ordinary people of the Maldives. Gasim’s campaign gives the presidential race an ultimate high with the more serious candidates now forced to look to the future rather than bickering of the past.

Gasim’s presidential bid also means that Maumoon and Anni are shaken at the roots for a guarantee of the seat of President. The campaigns of both of them had turned serious and more focused with the final announcement by Gasim to run for the presidency. Anni has recently made an unprecedented turn around with a lighter heart and a more wholesome and inclusive approach to leadership. Maumoon’s campaign team seem to be stuck with the past, and still not able to get out of a coma of vengeance, just as Anni showed he has matured out of it.

It is very clear that the race is going to be fought neck-to-neck only by three – Anni, Gasim and Maumoon; provided Hassan is not able to gain momentum in his tracks. Hassan’s presidential bid lacks committed institutional support which may see him pushed out of the line-up of serious front runners in the race.

While each of the men seem to be giving it their best shot to convince the nation that he is the most capable and trustworthy candidate, Anni seems to have shown the ability to bring the most drastic changes to how the people perceive him. He has shown that he is worthy of respect by his fellow opponents as well!

And the winner is ….. ?

 

Democracy and Dignity


Sunday afternoon I was in my regular coffee house for a quick bite and a hot milo. There were a couple of anti-Jumhooree Party activists who were gathered around two tables. The topic of discussion was the upcoming presidential elections. Their joy was calling names and filth at Gasim Ibrahim. I wondered to myself, I may not promote or campaign for him in the upcoming presidential elections, but he deserved better for his generosity to the ordinary folk of this country. Some even went to the extent of saying that his recent wealth was created from a World Bank loan which conditioned him to give social welfare assistance, and asked around for people who did not receive any.

My my! We Maldivians are practising for the month of Ramazan! My cafe colleagues also believe that Islam is their religion and would rise to any occassion to defend it – not practise it!

I was reminded of the gist of what Human Rights Commission Chief Saleem said in an interview two days ago, on TVM. He said that there can be no democracy without human rights, and the sum total of human rights was respect for other humans. He did say that democratic culture was a set of values inculcated in people over a long period of time, not an overnight phenomenon. How true I thought! Our champions of democracy were behaving like uncivilized barbarians!

 
 
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