Among the running mates announced so far, Anni's counterpart Dr. Mohammed Waheed Hassan is considered the best choice by commentators. The others, with the possible exception of Dr. Shaheed, have so far been liabilities. Unlike them, many people believe Waheed will boost Anni's winning chances.
Dr. Mohamed Waheed Hassan is the first Maldivian to obtain a PhD. In 1989 Waheed competed with Ilyas Ibrahim in the elections to the Majlis and won the Male seat with a higher majority. His popularity made Waheed a threat to the ruling classes, and soon he became a victim of the notorious Bimbi Force. He was compelled to resign his parliamentary seat and flee the Maldives.
After leaving the Maldives in the middle of 1992, Waheed has had a distinguished career in the international civil service, starting as the UNICEF head of education in Tanzania and winding up his career as Special Representative of the Secretary General.
On Wednesday MDP selected Waheed as Anni's running mate, a move that is considered very smart by most political analysts.
What Dr. Waheed brings to MDP:
- Waheed brings with him a wealth of government and international experience –experience that Anni lacks. Experts believe that Anni and Waheed complement each other's strengths and weakness and form a dream team;
- With a PhD from Stamford, Waheed is one of the most respected intellectuals in the country.
- He has been accused of running away from the Maldives when things don't go his way. Waheed however disagrees, saying he was forced to leave the Maldives under extreme pressure.
- He is considered a liberal, an image that may not go well with the conservative elements in the society.