Saturday, August 23, 2008

Which way will the election shift?

In Presidential Election 2008, so far eight candidates are in the fray. Among them only three rate as serious contenders on current strength: Gayoom, Gasim, and Anni, in that order. Like a seasonal sand dune, this scene could shift dramatically between now and October 10. But for now, let us speculate how each of these candidates could manipulate the situation to their advantage.

  1. Gayoom

    His strength is that he is the most marketed product in the Maldives, with brand recognition far ahead of Nespray and Marlboro, his nearest rivals. But this advantage could melt away like ice sculpture, if rival candidates get the time and opportunity to conduct a cohesive campaign. So his strategy should be to hold the election without delay and to put as many administrative barriers as possible to thwart rival campaigns. If he fails to do this, he risks losing his top position.

  2. Gasim

    His top strength is his image as a philanthropist, with beneficiaries all over the Maldives. He also has personal wealth and a bunch of businessmen to finance his campaign. His main weakness is lack of party infrastructure at island level to conduct an effective campaign. His strategy should therefore be to establish party branches as soon as possible. He would benefit from postponing the election, as it would give him more time to organize at island level.

  3. Anni

    Anni's main strength is MDP, which has grassroots organization all over Maldives. His main weakness is his image, which is that of an activist rather than a statesman. The other weakness is that his manifesto has not been well marketed. Anni's main strategy should be to team up with a credible running mate and to market a positive manifesto, leaving aside the temptation of picking on Gayoom. MDP stands to lose from any postponement of the election, as it will give their rivals time to build grassroots organization.

    Readers may be wondering why Yaameen did not figure in the top three. Well, he has only to blame himself for squandering his pre-eminent position as Gayoom's leading rival within the span of less than a year. This process of self destruction will be complete if and when Yaameen joins Gayoom's cabinet. As for Mohammed Waheed Hassan Manik, the best he can hope for is for the election to be over before the expiry of his return ticket back to the US.


Abdullah Waheed's Blog said...

The following comment was posted by Mohomed Naahi on Facebook:

"This is something new for the maldivian people. They only got to take part in a yes or no referendum all these years.

The list you made is good but i still have a feeling why Dr. Hassan did not make it to the top 3. Though Gasim has now become the centre of attraction, I've heard that Dr. Hassan has also garnered a huge support amongst the society. So wouldn't it be Gayyoom, Anni and Dr. Hassan as the top 3. I am saying this because there was a survey carried out by a local newspaper, where carried out a poll among 200 people and in the result, Maumoon had got around 52, anni 45, Dr Hassan 41 and Gasim only got 29. The rest went to Umar 10, Ibra 23 respectively. I know its result produced from only 200 people which will not be the same for a population above 307,000 people.

Who ever tops the list, this is an important issue and i strongly believe that its is a national responsibility for every eligible citizen to vote for their rights. I hope the people makes the right decision."

[Original post transcribed here by site author]

Abdullah Waheed's Blog said...

Hello Naahi,
A very valid comment. Actually in my analysis I had originally put Hassan Saeed at number 4. Later I deleted him to shorten the list to 3.

I believe Hassan was at number 2 spot about 2 months back . But since then he has slipped. He is likely to slip further because without a party to back him up, he will find it rather difficult to keep up with the 3 main parties.

Regarding the small size of the survey sample, 200 is ok, provided the sampling technique is good. I don't know how they selected their sample. cheers.

SYN said...

By Mohamed Naahii

That is very true Mr.Waheed. Dr hassan's voice has slightly being diminishing and at the same time The Republican party made its way into existant drawing a lot of media attraction which even dimmed the light of Dr.hassan even more. Lets see how the race takes the twists and turns. Its most likely that it will take a U turn and current president would be re elected. Its going towards gayyooms favour because of so many political parties and candidates. we all know one 'iloshi' will never be as strong as an 'iloshifathi'. My god bless my Maldives. Thank you for publishing my comment

Abdulla said...

You have mentioned in the Article that Yameen has himself to blame and his self-destruction will be complete once and when he joins Gayyoom.

But, what i feel is Yameen and PA is making very calculated decisions and that they are not in a hurry like the other competitors to grab the top post. His main target maybe to secure as many MPs in next aammu inthihaab. And if he joins Gayyoom, he can emerge victorious with much more strength. Remember, Thasmeen is very close with Yameen's group still.

alucarD said...

I find you articles to be very well written and with great insight :D. Please keep on blogging....

Yafaau's daddy said...

Loved reading it. Good Articles i nust say. as alucard commented, keep em coming.