It may be a bit of exaggeration to compare Ibrahim Ismail (Ibra) to Dr. Ambedkar, the architect of the Indian Constitution. However, the parallels are there. Both men rose above severe personal obstacles to reach strategic positions where they could play dominating roles in the drafting of their respective national constitutions. Having completed his task as Chairman of the Constitutional Drafting Committee, Ibra is now standing for the Presidential Election slated for next month. What are his potential strengths and weaknesses?
Ibra's achievements so far:
- Winning the Male seat in the latest round of Special Majlis and People's Majlis elections;
- Winning MDP Presidential election (Ibra has resigned this post since);
- Winning a protracted legal battle against the Election Commission to register his Social Liberal Party.
- Considerable training and experience in the education sector;
- Impeccable record as a parliamentarian;
- Effective and proven leadership as Chair of the Special Majlis drafting committee;
- Well established reputation as a man of principles;
- Strength of character and the courage to take unwavering stands on major issues;
- Has a clear vision and a coherent plan to achieve it;
- Shortage of money and party infrastructure to run an effective campaign;
- Shortage of popular leaders within the party;
Highlights of agenda:
- Ibra's agenda concentrates on long term solutions rather than popular "stop gap" answers to problems. He focuses on issues like rule of law and primary education, which are a bit removed from the day-to-day problems of the people.
- For the Maldives Ibra's vision is an economically sufficient country, where disparities of wealth across the community are reduced, and where all Maldivians get to enjoy the benefits of economic growth and prosperity on an equitable basis.
- Ibra plans to achieve this through promoting innovative thinking and making forays into new industries and economic activities.