Category Archives: Presidential Race 2008

Money is Honey No more!!!

Dr. Abdulla Waheed writes:

The conventional wisdom till August this year was if one had enough 500 rufiyaa notes to distribute on Election Day, one was assured of victory. This doctrine however came for a severe hammering almost overnight with the lukewarm response Qasim Ibrahim received for his presidential bid. All of a sudden one started hearing comments such as, ‘Qasim is a good businessman and philanthropist, but not the type of person we want as president.” Does this herald a paradigm shift from the plutocratic politics of the past decade to party based politics?

He further writes:

Thus in the future we could perhaps expect a reduction in the number of business tycoons getting elected to the Majlis. This of course is merely a theory and needs verification in light of the results of March 2009 General Election.

Read more from Dr. Waheed here


Oooops!!! All can compete, except…

The Supreme Court Decides:

That Maumoon can stand for
A first term of office as president
Under the new constitution
That his previous six terms
Cannot be counted
Under this constitution

That there is no proof
Beyond reasonable doubt
That Maumoon is not a Sunni

That Anni has not committed
A Hadhdh offense under Islam
That it has not been proven
Beyond reasonable doubt

These Verdicts were passed down
By the Supreme Court which has ruled
That they cannot be questioned or criticized

The very court that turned down
A plea, by one presidential hopeful
That imposing a further condition
(Not stated in the constitution)
To stand for president
Was wrong


When should one seek justice and when not!

A day after Maumoon said that he will take those who have alleged he is not a Sunni Muslim to court, the Presidential Spokesperson and Maumoon’s party colleague Mohamed Shareef has alleged that Hassan Saeed’s campaign is funded by a Jewish billionnaire. Maumoon was furious when he spoke about it, for he was being falsely alleged of what he was not.

I think that the Presidential Spokesperson should take Hassan Saeed to court and prove his allegation.

Read Miadhu report here


Men and Men: Guardians of the Good

In a moment of reflection, I could not just help wondering the great responsibilities that have come to the shoulders of the men and men who have been placed to kick-start the new constitution for the Maldivian people. The members of the election commission, the supreme court bench, the judicial services commission and others have on them, the onous to make the right decisions.

The difficult thing is that there is little precedence, institutional memory and wisdom that are a function of good decisions; for these institutions. They have to do a rush job and ensure that it is done democratically, fairly and correctly. There is no democratic culture in us, yet everyone expects these immature institutions to do a first-class job void of any flaws, and therefore will not accept anything short of their personal belief.

That is an unfathomable challenge that the men and men who make up these institutions are faced with today. I can only empathize with them.


Adaalath Party takes the elections to court

Adhaalath Party which claims they do things the Islamic way, have taken the Elections Commission to the Supreme Court for accepting Maumoon’s candidacy to stand in the upcoming presidential elections. Adhaalath claims that Maumoon is not a Muslim of a Sunni sect of Islam, when the constitution requires that one should belong to a Sunni sect.

Adhaalath is the institutional strength behind the Jumhooree Gulhun or Republican Coalition, whose presidential candidate is Villa Foundation Chairman Gasim Ibrahim. They have a considerable support base in the political landscape, by being the self-appointed guardians of Islam in the Maldives. Adhaalath type of Islam is fearful because they seemingly claim to have the authority to decide who is a Muslim and who is not. And the other is this prejudice that Sunni Muslims are more Muslim than others.

So what I see is a new type of Islam in the evolution phase. All my life, I had believed Islam to be one religion and a simple way of life which is dignified and caring, not one of greed and a hate-bashing institution of sheer lunacy. I still believe that Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance; not the type that is manifesting amongst us right now.

Jumhooree Party has not distanced itself from the court-case to prove that Maumoon is not a “proper” Muslim, thought they were quick to announce their shock and awe at the President of the Youth League of the party who lodged a complaint against Anni in the Supreme Court. Jumhooree spokesperson was highly apologetic whenever he mentioned the incident, and said that the party was going to expell the Youth League President from the party if he did not fall in line. He also seemed to be of the opinion that it should be the people and not the Supreme Court
Bench who decides a president.

Come to think of it, I think the fact that Anni could say “let the people decide” shows his trust and confidence in the people of this country to make the right decision. Clearly Adhaalath fears the people will make the wrong decision. They have no confidence in the wisdom of the people – people are ignorant and only the scholars know!

This action of Adhaalath which is clearly a unilateral action by Adhaalath and without the backing of their coalition partner, definitely shows the Adhaalath way of doing things. They cannot trust the majority to decide. What I cannot understand is that this so called democracy is not an Islamic institution and why are a religous party entagled in it.

Islam is becoming confusing (atleast when forced to believe that Adhaalath is its guardian); and so is democracy. I atleast thought I knew Islam.

You may also like to read the story as reported in Minivan and Miadhu


National Security Agencies are hurt!

Recent rhetoric and accusations by presidential hopefuls Anni, Hassan and Ibra – pointing fingers at certain elements within national security agencies (Immigration, Customs, Police along with National Narcotics Control Bureau); has strongly hurt the big bosses who run these organizations and the agencies they head. There have been press releases claiming innocense and dignity. (I could not help wondering diginty and respect cannot be claimed but can only be earned. Look at TVM and Voice of Maldives).

Let’s for arguments sake agree that ALL officers in all the national security agencies are good people unlike the rest of Maldivians. Then, the question is do we want good people who will come to us and give excuses – or do we want people who can protect our boaders and make this country free of widespread mayhem! I definitely don’t care whether they are Muslims or Jews for that matter, as long as they can deliver; where good people are simply good – but ineffective and inefficient.

It is very immature of the presidential hopefuls to decide to “attack” the integrity of these national security agencies (and also by association perhaps even the MNDF) when these agencies combined are a critical voter base. And from the little I understand of human psychology, men and women in uniform have a “single-mind” and cannot appreciate diversity- for them these agencies are sacred and must be protected at any cost.

Related links:
Haveeru News Dhivehi


Forward Nation: The Project

Our nation is outflowing with the manifestation of the real Maldivian (the person, not the airline).

My worst nighmare in forty two years have been the ridicule of Badheeaa (not the real name) in our neighborhood, who was a mentally ill person. That was the entertainment. Everyone seemed to enjoy when hooligans got her to do things that were “entertaining”. This sadistic nature of the Maldivian has been the most hard to forget single experience that repeated all my life. We enjoy laughing at people, mocking at disadvataged people, making fun of the disabled and the rest. Therefore, it is not surprising to see the kind of manifestations that we are seeing today in the political arena.

Sadism is the single highest common factor of the Maldivian. Why else would the “mainstream” media interview “Moya Nasira” on aspects of political leadership, and make that the cover page!

I pray that when all this is over, there will be a project called “Forward Nation” (Gaumaaigen Kuriyah) which will inculcate some civility into the Maldivian. It is quite possible since people like Hilmy from the Classification Bureau of the Information Ministry (who are running the Project “Think Nation”) are still likely to be around.

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Posted by on September 23, 2008 in Civil Society, Comments and Opionion, Democracy nd Reform, Nation Building, Presidential Race 2008


Dhivehinnnah heyo budhiyaai dhuruvisnun mivanarukuravvaashi!

އާބާދީގެ ތިންބައިކުޅަ އެއްބަޔަށްވުރެން ގިނަމީހުން ތޮއްޖެހިފައިވާ އެއްރަށެއްގައި ދިރިއުޅޭ، އަދި ގައުމުގެ ޒުވާނުންގެ ތެރެއިން 12000 ށްވުރެ ގިނަމީހުން މަސްތުވާތަކެތީގެ ވަބާގައި ޖެހިފައިވާ، އުމުރުން ފަނަރައަހަރު ފުރުމުގެ ކުރިން ގިނަ އަންހެންކުދިންނަށް ޖިންސީގޮތުން ގޯނާއެއްކުރެވިފައިތިބޭ، ރައްޔިތުންގެ މައްޗަށް އޮންނަ މަދުބައެއްގެ ޚުދުމުޚުތާރު ވެރިކަމުގެ ސަގާފަތެއް އޮންނައިރުވެސް މިނިވަނުންކަމަށް ދައުވާކޮށް އެކަމަށްޓަކައި ފަޚުރުވެރިވާ ދިވެހިންނަށް އޮޅުވާލާ، ދަޅަދައްކާ، އަނދުން އަޅުވާލައިގެން ރައްޔިތުންނަށް ރަގަޅުގޮތެއް ބަޔަކު ހަދައިދީފިކަމަށް ހީވާގޮތަށް – ވަކިބަޔެއްގެ މަސްލަހަތު މުޅިން ހަމަޖެއްސުމުގެ ބޮޑު މަޝްރޫއަށް “ގާނޫނު އަސާސީ އިސްލާހު” ކުރުމުގެ ނަމުން ނަންދީ، އަލަށް ހެދި ގާނޫނު އަސާސީގެ ދަށުން ދުނިޔެ ސިއްސުވާލާނެ ނަމޫނާ ރިޔާސީ އިންތިޚާބެއް ދިވެހިރާއްޖޭގައި ބޭއްވުމުގެ ތައްޔާރީތައް ހޭބޯ ނާރާ ހިނގަމުންދާ މަންޒަރަކީ ހާދަ ހިތްގައިމު މަންޒަރެކެވެ. ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު
އަވަސް އަރައިގަނެގެން ކުރުގަޅުވާލައިގެން ބާއްވާ އާގާނޫނުއަސާސީގެ ފުރަތަމަ އިންތިޚާބު (ރިއާސީ އިންތިޚާބު) ވެގެންދާނީ މައްސަލަތަކާއި ހަމަނުޖެހުންތަކުން ފުރިގެންވާ މިނިވަންކަމެއް ދިވެހިންނަށް ގެނެސްދޭނެ މަރުހަލާއަކަށް ވެދާނެކަމުގެ ކޮޅުމަތި މިހާރު މިދަނީ ފެންނަމުންނެވެ. ދިމާކުރުމާއި ފުރައްސާރަކުރުމުގެ އިންތިހާއަށް ކެމްޕެއިންގެ ކަންތައްތައް މިވަނީ ގޮސްފައެވެ. ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު
އަޅުގަޑުގެ ދުއާއަކީ ދިވެހިންނަށް ހެޔޮބުއްދިއާއި ދުރުވިސްނުން މާތްﷲ މިންވަރުކުރެއްވުމެވެ. ދިވެހިންނަށް މިފަހަކަށް އައިސް ދިމާވި ކޮންމެ ބޮޑުމުސީބާތަކުން ސަލާމަތްވެފައިވަނީ ﷲ ގެ ހެޔޮރަހުމަތްފުޅުންނެވެ. ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު ޝިހާބު
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Posted by on September 21, 2008 in Comments and Opionion, Democracy nd Reform, Presidential Election 2008, Presidential Race 2008, Thaana


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.


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!

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