Monday, September 15, 2008

Know your candidates (3): Maumoon Abdul Gayoom



When Maumoon Abdul Gayoom returned to the Maldives in 1971 after a 24-year absence abroad, he found in Male an "atmosphere of repression", his biography 'A Man for All Islands' says. He would not have known then that 37 years later on 7 August 2008 he would be the chosen man to ratify the historic Constitutional amendments that would finally annul the archaic laws that bred the repressive atmosphere.


With his grounding in theology, Gayoom soon earned the respect of the people as well as the wrath of the government, particularly with his famous remark equating alcohol consumption and its sale. When in 1978, President Ibrahim Nasir abruptly decided not to compete for a third term in office, Gayoom became a serious contender for the post. Helped by a serendipitous coincidence –two of his close relatives, Ilyas and Hameed, were Majlis Members –Gayoom triumphed.


Seeking a record (which will never be broken) seventh term, Gayoom brings with him long years of experience, years that started counting long before 2 out of 3 Maldivians living today were even born. Let us then examine his strengths and weaknesses.


Gayoom's Achievements so far:



  • Became President in 1978 and got re-elected 5 times;

  • Maintained political stability and a favorable investment climate in the Maldives;

  • Earned an international reputation in the area of environmental protection;

  • Earned a reputation as a religious scholar.

Strengths:



  • Having been in power for 30 years;

  • Having the opportunity to claim credit for the GDP growth of the past 3 decades;

  • Being the most recognized face in the Maldives;

  • Fits the mental image Maldivians have of an archetypical president;

  • Being the subject of nostalgic attachment among the elderly;

  • Having the advantage of the trappings of office and the loyalty of senior members in island administration;

Weaknesses:



  • Having been in power for 30 years (note that this is also listed among strengths);

  • Being ultimately answerable for the law and order situation and drugs as well as the housing problem;

  • Desire among the youth for change;

  • Advancing age;

  • Vulnerability to charges of nepotism.

Highlights of the agenda:


Gayoom will:



  • Not allow in the Maldives any religion other than Islam, nor will he allow extremism;

  • Strengthen the foundations of democracy, promote political responsibility, protect human rights, and ensure equality before the law;

  • Distribute the benefits of economic growth equitably, increase the earnings of individuals and families, improve the quality of life, reduce the cost of living and ensure fiscal responsibility;

  • Make the community drug-free and safe, solve housing issues, expand social services, and make Maldivians a law abiding, low crime, supportive, friendly, and happy community;

  • Expand health services, improve the quality of health services, provide emergency evacuation, train health professionals and introduce modern technology for providing health care;

  • Expand educational opportunities, improve quality of education, increase training opportunities for the youth, train teachers, and get international recognition for the national university.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Maumoon Baa Moonu
Beynumee aa Moonu

Maumoon is history. Vote for a change.

"Change We Can, Change We Shall"

Anonymous said...

Is it true that such a reputed scholar is also a liar!

maree said...

maumoon is a great leader...

Anonymous said...

Hey who said Maumoon is Bau. now he is new, fresh and reborned with new consititution. He is another man now. he is contesting based on this fact.

Anonymous said...

Yeah Maumoon is great leader. he did lot of great things too. like increasing drug from grame to tone, encouraging street fight and killing, raping and so many other things...

Anonymous said...

This guy needs to be Reminded!

Hatharu vana baabu,
Raeesul jumhooriyya,

(Riyaasathuge dhauru)107(haa)

Raeesul jumhooriyyage dhaurakee fas aharu dhuvaheve. Adhi "miqaanoon asaasee"ge dhashun raeesul jumhooriyaage maqaamah inthihaab kurevey ehves meehakah vidhividhigen nuvatha enoon gothakah ves dhedhaurahvure ginadhuvahu raeesul jumhooriyya kamuge maqaameh nufureyne eve.
Note:(mi qaanoon asaasege dhashun kamah bunevifai evanee, dhivehi jumhooriyaage Qaanoon asaasee eve)

Anonymous said...

The picture on this article tells thousand words, the energy, the strength and the kind of experience Maumoon's campaign will have. On one side Abdualla Hameed and the other side Umar Zahir. How can they compete, world class strategists like Dr.Shaheed on anything.

In my opinion the choice is clear among all the candidates Dr.Hassan Shaeed's ticket is the only credible choice for this election.

Anonymous said...

Whatever his strength & weaknesses are, its time for him to go.

No one can live forever.
No one can stay in a post forever too.
There wasn't a maumoon before. Maldives survived. Even without a Maumoon later on, Maldives would still survive.

Oh the poison has spread so much ppl cannot think straight anymore.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Waheed! Your blog is giving a lot of awareness on a number of issues. keep up the good work.

Two nights back I listened to DRP's manifesto being proposed. What I felt was that this is the same old policies with a new name. The Vision 2020, past NDP's and sectoral plans also have these in them if you look carefully. The problem is in implementation. Honestly, what i see is that almost all candidates are talking about the same thing! Innovative ideas are lacking in the manifestos. Are we all so material that all promises are in countable hardware? And some of the promises are so outrageous that a 10 year old kid will not believe it!

I do not think that there is anymore innovation or the kind of vision that we need for the Maldives of the 21st century in the ranks of DRP. Not that there aren't educated people in the party. But over thirty years all the educated people were in the government too.

We need a change! And change is what I voted for in the last two presidential elections as well. And yes that will be what I am going to vote again this time.

We need a dream! A new dream! A modern dream! A Maldivian dream ...

VOTE FOR CHANGE!

Anonymous said...

Liar Liar Liar. We don't need the father of all lies as our next president.

We need a president who would not be above the Law.

Gayyoom and his cronies are history. Look forward and Vote for a Change.

I am calling all the Maldivians to come out and vote to prove to a Dicatator that the most powerful thing in a country are the citizens.

Yeah....

"Change We Can, Change We Shall"

Anonymous said...

Let the People of Maldives punish the 21st century Rannamaari.

Go Vote!
Your vote is important!
Your vote might change the result we need!

Oh Yeah. Let's have a bloodless revolution to remove the dictator who ruled this nation with his fist for the last 30 years.

Maumoon! I hate you for destroying this nation!

Anonymous said...

Dr.Waheed, can you dig a bit who is JP running mate Ali Sawad is. I just read an article on Haveer, the way JP try to portray this person is not true, as he belongs to Addu or has connection with Addu.

jpm said...

JUST A GREAT BLOG

Anonymous said...

The photo on this article shows the 3 clowns that have been responsible for a lot of damage to this country over the last 30 years.

These 3 should be brought to trial immediately after the change of government which is inevitable.

Anonymous said...

THE OTHER DAY I WAS GOING THROUGH MAUMOON'S MANIFESTO.

IT WAS SO BORING AND REMINISCENT OF THE PAST 30 YEARS' FALSE PROMISES, THAT I KEPT MY EYES WIDE OPEN WITH TWO TOOTHPICKS AND READ FROM ONE END TO THE OTHER.

IT WAS ON HAVEERU COVER PAGES.

ONE OF THE FIRST IDIOCITY I FOUND IN IT WAS THAT AFTER 30 YEARS OF PRACTICE AND WARM-UP IN HIS SWEET AND SOUR BRO'S PARLIAMENT ON HOW TO PRESNT A MANIFESTO, THE FINAL THING, WHICH WAS CHURNED OUT, WAS TALKING ABOUT BUIDLING OR ENHANCING SOME ATOLL HOSPITALS SO THAT IF ANY ONE IN THE ATOLLS GETS SERIOUSLY SICK OR NEEDS EMERGENCY MEDICAL ATTENTION, THE BEST MAUMOON CAN DO FOR THE ISLANDERS ACCORDING TO HIS MASTERPIECE MANIFESTO IS TO ENSURE THAT THE DYING PERSON REACHES A HOSPITAL AFTER ONE HOURS CRUISING ON THE ROUGH SEAS THROUGH THE WAVES UNDER THE OCEAN AND OVER THE SURFS.

THEN I THOUGHT..WELL! AMERICANS MAY HAVE SENT A MARS EXPLORER TO MARS ONLY YESTERDAY, BUT AREN'T WE GREAT OR WHAT TO MATCH THEM? WE WILL BE ABLE TO SEND A DYING PERSON TO ONE OF THE GLEAMING HOSPITALS WITHIN THE REACH OF THE STRETCH OF OUR ARM'S DISTANCE JUST WITHIN ONE HOUR..YES ONE HOURS TIME, AND IN AN AIR AMBULANCE..YES AN AIR AMBULANCE! THEN, I THOUGHT WHY IS IT TAKING SO LONG, WHEN HE IS PROMISING TO DEVLEOP SO MANY ATOLL HOSPITALS THROUGH THE LENGHTH AND BREADH OF MALDIVES. ONE HOUR! WELL THEN I THOUGHT MAY BE WHEN MAUMOON MEANS AN AIR AMBULANCE IN HIS MANIFESTO, WE CAN TAKE IT AT BEST TO BE A WADDLING BOKKURA WHICH HAS TWO TURTLE LEGS MEANT TO REACH ONE OF THE SHORES OF THE NUMEROUS ATOLL HOSPITALS ONLY TO DELIVER THE AILING PATIENT TO THE NEAREST CEMETRY!

THEN AGAIN I THOUGHT. WELL! THIS MANIFESTO MIGHT HAVE BEEN COOKED IN SUCH A HURRY TO ANSWER BACK MAUMOONS EVER INCREASING CRITICS FOR LACK OF A MANIFESTO IN HIS CAMPAIGNS, THAT MAUMOON PUT WASHING POWDER IN PLACE OF SALT AS THE MAIN INGREDIENT. WELL IF YOU HAVE SO MUCH DIRT ON YOUR HEM NATURALLY THE FIRST THING THAT COMES TO YOUR MIND IS A DETERGENT. WE CAN TELL THIS WHEN WE SEE THE SOAP BUBBLES IN OUR SOUP. SOMETHING LIKE DRP MANIFESTO WHICH MAUMOON COOKED FOR US.

LOOK! WE CANNOT TASTE THIS SOUP, IT BETTR LAND IN THE FACE OF THE RESPONSIBLE CHEF, MAUMOON.