Hassan resigned from the Cabinet rather abruptly in August 2007, and soon announced his intention to stand for the presidential elections. Thus he is one of the first to announce his candidacy and the first to release a comprehensive manifesto. Let us examine his strengths and weaknesses.
Hassan Saeed’s achievements so far:
- Became Attorney General in 2003 (he has since resigned from this post);
- Gave the landmark legal advice that led to the formation of political parties;
- Launched and implemented the Criminal Justice Action Plan;
- Became Vice President of DRP (he has since resigned from this post);
- Made a name for himself among the Maldivian people.
- Educated in both Islamic and western systems, holding a PhD in law;
- Has charisma according to many, and fits the mental image most Maldivians have of the archetypical president;
- Has administrative and political acumen, the skills that enabled him to become the focal point of the government's reform agenda;
- Has energy and is action-oriented.
- Played a dubious role when in government, particularly in the prosecution of opposition leaders;
- Introduced controversial practices such as sentencing in absentia;
- Has been prone to taking rash decisions.
Highlights of the agenda:
- Establishing 4 tertiary hospitals across the archipelago and providing emergency medical evacuation by air and sea;
- Providing health insurance to all, giving special attention to socially and economically vulnerable groups;
- Taking strict legal action against drug traffickers;
- Improving locally available education by establishing international schools and universities and facilitating studies abroad through 500 full and 1000 partial scholarships each year;
- Promoting fish exports and protecting the exclusive economic zone of Maldives;
- Attracting foreign investment by promoting confidence in the Maldives;
- Promoting middle and small businesses, job creation and job training;
- Promoting good governance through, establishing island councils, reducing wasteful expenditure, upholding the law, electoral reforms, and press freedom;
- Providing basic services like water, sanitation, housing, electricity and transport by establishing 4 cities;
- Improving law and order through developing a professional police force and training the judiciary.