Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Who says the election will be free and fair?

Few Maldivians appear to believe the October 8th election will be free and fair. This general trend however is broken by two very illustrious exceptions. One is President Gayoom, of course. The other is –hold your breath –Mohammed Nasheed (Anni). Strange bed fellows? Probably not. Despite Jumhoori Party accusations, there appears to be no plausible reason to believe Anni and Gayoom are collaborating on this matter. Rather, they may have their own unique and independent reasons for endorsing the election.

Gayoom's reasons are rather easy to guess. He has been widely accused of electoral malpractice during his 30-year rule, an accusation he vehemently denies, like he did in TVM's Siyaasath program recently. Such denials are absolutely necessary to defend the legitimacy of his rule. So it's not surprising he should be claiming all elections, past, present and future to be free and fair.

What IS surprising is Gayoom's nemesis, Mohammed Nasheed (Anni), should also be endorsing the election. Speaking to diplomats based in Colombo last week, Anni said the coming presidential elections will be the most fair and free election ever in the entire South Asia region. Why did he say this?

The clue to this mystery could be a statement Anni made later at the same meeting. He told the gathering he was "confident of winning the elections, with opinion polls for the past three weeks keeping him in the lead." Thus he probably believes he will win the election despite any possible rigging against him, like he did in the 1999 Majlis election. So what's the point in condemning an election he believes he is going to win anyway? (Did a winning football team ever complain about refereeing?)

Public opinion on the other hand is quite clear. In an SMS poll conducted recently by TVM, 75% of respondents did not believe the election will be free and fair. Perhaps their opinion is based on past experience. Accusations of electoral malpractice have been rampant throughout recent history, though few of these ever went to the stage of being proven. Here is a selection of some of the more interesting allegations:

  • Transfers of government servants in the atolls for the election period based on 'lists';

  • Island travel restrictions on government servants perceived to be negative;

  • Using government servants to campaign for 'officially endorsed' candidates;

  • Island chiefs physically blocking voters from casting negative votes;

  • Fishing out and replacing negative votes in the box;

  • Chiefs putting 'yes' marks en-masse for absent voters;

  • Favoring islands that produce the perfect 100% result.


Anonymous said...

Let the truth be heard.

This is a clear statement about why MDP cannot bring in democratic reform. Coming to power by whatever means is pretty undemocratic. MDP was formed to withhold democratic values. But what we have seen in the recent past somewhat opposes the basic principles of the formation of MDP.

Believe it or not... said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

A vote for Dr Saeed is a vote for an evil version of Uz Gayoom!

When I heard Dr Saeed quoting from Qruan and interpreting verses, it reminded me of Uz Gayoom. Our incumbent president 30 years ago came to power using the same tactics. Then he won the hearts and minds of naïve Maldivians. Our grand parents and parents thought Uz Gayoom will be the saviour and the road to paradise. Today his teachings and way of ruling has created a “hell on earth!”

In 1978 Uz Gayoom launched his bid to become the president of the Maldives with help from his closest friends. The architects of current regime are Uz Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, Uz Zahir Hussain and Uz Fathulla Jameel. They are the “Three Musketeers (Les Trois Mousquetaires)”, who had a plan to rule the country like a kingdom; instead of protecting the rights of people they protected their interests. They devised the plan when they were in Cairo, Egypt. Their plan is evil and cunning. The plan has created a divided society which lacks moral fibre. Their cunning arrangement has ranked Maldives among the most corrupt countries in the world (Maldives placed at 84th out of 115 countries according to international corruption watchdog Transparency International 2008 report). This is a result of a deliberate attempt by the current government to cling on to power by fragmenting the values which create a society. Over the last 30 years Uz Gayoom’s government created an intolerant, nepotistic society which lacks moral values, belief or any ideology. A society which only respects dollar bills and lives the life beyond its means. A society whose youth is high on narcotics and success is only measured by flashy motor cycles and iPhones. A society whose elders believe that a graduate with a PhD degree can solve all their problems. A shameful society where PhD holders get more respect than hard working life savers, medical doctors.

Roll forward 30 years, Uz is not trendy anymore. The current buzz word is PhD with new “Three Musketeers (Les Trois Mousquetaires)”, leading the pack with a vicious plan in their mind. Dr Saeed, Dr Shaheed and Dr Jameel. Ironically they advocate justice, fairness and equality for the people under the slogan “Power to the People”. They refused to take part in collective politics instead they opted for egoistic “me” approach when they were humiliated in a live telecast at the TVM. Dr Saeed has already started acting like a carbon copy of Gayoom, quoting Qruan and using religion as a tool. It seems that the naivety is still a big part of our electorate as some are opting to bring back a character which has similar characteristics of Uz Gayoom.

The people who are supporting Dr Saeed and gang have already forgotten that these are the new “Three Musketeers” who got the chance to choose from either the government or the opposition movement when they joined Maldives politics. When “Three Musketeers” selfishly took the ministerial portfolio in the current government the opposition movement is in full momentum, and would have benefited from their contribution had they taken the moral high ground. Instead they choose to mislead people, torture and crush the opposition movement. People are already forgetting that Dr Saeed was a deputy president in the DRP and a vocal who defended Uz Gayoom in his many speeches. Dr Shaheed will be famous for his lies to protect Uz Gayoom’s government in Solah’s murder case. The new “Three Musketeers” are the people who hired “Hill & Knowlton”, a public relation firm, bankrupting the Maldives, to white wash Gayoom’s dirty tricks.

When the nasty trio points finger at other political parties accusing them of “business men’s” party they should first ask who is funding their ill campaign. Champa Group, Voyages Solah, Universal, Saveed and Crown are funding the new “Three Musketeers” thinking that they will give “power to the people”. Only the time will tell how gullible are the people who back an evil version of Uz Gayoom, Dr Saeed. If I get a choice to choose from Uz Gayoom and Dr Saeed, I would vote for the lesser predictable evil, Uz Gayoom! said...

Fair? Can we ever be given freedom from coercion and from association?

Anonymous said...

Anni is barking mad to make such a statement. Talk about polls, Anni got the lead in a Dhifm poll. 75% of those participated in the TVM poll said it won't be free and fair.
So, who should we give the benefit of the doubt? Anni or the larger population.
If one is too confident of something and acts arogant, the end result can be quite painful.
This could bring the end of the Anni campaign.
Only a fool will believe that Golhaabo will not rig this election. The top ranks in police and MNDF and his cabinet are saying "Don't worry, everything is under control!"
And, guess what, it is. Why, because we are fighting with each other and the enemy is free to make his moves!
Wake up everyone! Golhaabo will rig this vote!
ps: I recall Anni being just as sure of winning the referendum in August 2007. We all know what actually happened, right?

Anonymous said...

Believe it or not, democracy is not about NOT accepting anything, OR rejecting everything. Those who are used to lying through their teeth or denying the obvious, will no doubt reject the outcome of the election, if it goes against them. Anni will accept the result even if he loses. We cannot afford to have 'a democracy of the two Begums'.

Anonymous said...

I was shocked and pretty disturbed when Dr Hassan Saeed recently said on TV, that he asked a certain school Headmaster to send a child to his court to be interrogated by him, and to give evidence against her father! I wonder whether there is any law that allows one to force a child to give evidence against his/her parents, particularly in the absence of a close relative of the child, no matter how noble the cause may be.

His self admission of the case in question clearly demonstrates the extent to which he would go to take law into his own hands.

Further, the evil campaign Dr Hassan and his team has launched to discredit the multi-party system which we have won after so much of sacrifices from activists, media and the reform minded MPs, is also disturbing. I wonder why Dr Hassan, while he was the AG, voted against the wishes of the people in the Majlis, or was part of the team that dragged the constitution for almost three years.

Next, Dr Hassan says he will form a unity government. Who will then hold his government accountable? The Majlis controlled by the parties forming his unity Government? Or the Judiciary approved by the Majlis controlled by the parties in his unity Government?

Please..stop this stupidity! We are not prepared to give in our hard won freedom to another dictator.

Anonymous said...

Im not a fan or Dr. Saeed or anyone of those people who's fighting for presidency. But for God sake could someone tell me whats wrong with Champa Group, Voyages Solah, Universal, Saveed and Crown funding him or his group? There has to be someone to fund him. Am i rite? Gasim is funded by Villa Group. Maunoom is funded by many Welthy tycoons. Anni got his own businesses. So why is it a problem when someone funds Dr. Saeed? I don't understand.

Anonymous said...

Anni just stated that this will be the most democratic election that would be held in years.. and he is confident that he would win; as a leader thats something he must have.

Every precaution and measure (possible) have been taken to ensure that this goes fair and free and i believe a bit of optimism would help, cautious optimism!

Anonymous said...

No matter what, Maldivians know to whom to vote, they are conscious about it and they know only the educated, capable people can take this country to further ups.

Anonymous said...

We have being seeing, what is happening, when leaders come into power witout proper education. my predictions, if these candidates are elected would be:
1 - Gayoom - He will be tring to hide what had done in the past 30 years and I am sure you would not see any development progress in our country.
2 - Gasim - There maybe some kind of development progress, but our country will be only for people like him. Dictatorship will worse then Gayoom, since he will get both the power interm of money and politics and his influnce in the country will be such that we cannot remove him from power.
3 - Anni - Our country will be in a mess, because he will try to take revenges from the former government cronies consequese of this our country would be like Iraq, and Afghanistan.
Therefore, Dr. Hassan and Dr. Shaheed are the people who will bring the changes that we are looking for.

Anonymous said...

To the comment at 12;34pm,

You don't seem to know what you are talking about!


Anonymous said...

I have decided to exercise my right NOT to vote.

Forget finding a clean sheet. Most candidates have personal and hidden agendas, or are turncoats or both. We really aren't ready for this though we stand on the brink of it. Can the new constitution protect the people under the administration of any of these candidates? I have my reservations and I fear the inevitable.

Does everyone believe that a new face in Theemuge will bring an end to 30 years of tyranny and then that's it? Is the worst over then? What then? Do we so blindly handover the fate of our future to any of these clowns? Does anyone even have an inkling of what these past 30 years have set in motion? I certainly don't and that scares me the most.

I dare you (readers) to name even one of them who you genuinely believe is honest to the cause. And please don't start with Anni. I acknowledge and am truly grateful for his pivotal and courageous role. But everyone needs to understand that the Presidency is not a reward and certainly not for Anni who dramatically failed to exercise democracy in his own party. No, his role should be the voice of opposition and the voice of the people regardless of whoever serves as president. His persistence and undying courage paid off and everyone heard his voice including those who were forced to listen.

Anni, in my opinion, can play a far more crucial role in future politics than being president. More like our version of Michael Moore, authoring exposés which I am sure the community at large will be truly grateful for. The voice of the weak and helpless. The voice against tyranny and the injustices of the state. That still leaves him the opportunity to go down in history as a hero. I don't need to state the obvious alternative.

Dearly beloved, I endorse no one because simply put there is no one to endorse.

Exercising my right NOT to vote will change nothing. But what would happen if everyone exercised their right NOT to vote?

Houston, forget that other thing, we have a bigger problem. Call in the Jedi Council, for we are a nation without leaders.

Anonymous said...

Dr Hassan gave orders to destroy 'Haruge' built on private property. Dr Hassan and Dr Shaheed was behind not hnding over the dead body of the late Hussain Solaah. Dr Hassan, Jameel and Dr Shaheed was instrumental in defending this 30 year old dictatorship. This list is endless. We all know why they were forced to quit DRP soon after the scandal that followed the debate at Dharubaaruge. Who would want to turn the clock back another 30 years by electing Dr Hassan? A poor choice by all means!

Anonymous said...

for anonymous @ October 1, 2008 7:28 AM

Interpreting versus from Quran by Islamic scholars is not an issue.

Dr. Hassan is running for presidency with a manifesto which is his "plan" for the coming five years.

He is promising that he'll be choosing "architects" who are capable of implementing his plans.

This in my opinion has no resemblance to what had happened with someone ran for presidency back in 1978.

Had Dr. Hassan and his team are selfish I wonder why they did prefer leaving the ministerial "portfolios" and I don't see the opposition being crushed and I see it going on full swing with the largest opposition party gaining momentum in polls.

In a presidential system of governance it not impractical in running for presidency as an independent candidate particularly in this young politics of Maldives where there are a dozen or so political parties formed very quickly.

Mohamed A said...

Dr. Hassan and Dr. Shaheed cannot rule the Maldives for the people.Because they were once a part of a corrupt regime.They inherited that philosophy.They left the government and formed a group because they were opportunists who want to get the power badly by hook or crook.They are taking credit to a reform movement initiated by Anni with support from the people who are aganinst the dictatorship rule of the Maumoon.

Maumoon is talking about taking Maldives to a new height.He ruined the Maldives for last 30 yrs.He never wanted Maldivians to progress and to prevent this he gave a blind eye to drug mafia actively destroying each and evey household in the Maldives.This is his way of staying in the power.

The development that took place in the Maldives is only foreign aid.Most of the schools are constructed by Japanese aid.Social center by Japaneses aid.Regional hospitals by foreign aid.Now he is planing to make a deal of Indira Gandhi Memorial hospital with a Singapore firm.How can he improve medical service without spending on medical education and training doctors.Last 20 years there were many school leavers who want to become doctors.But he did nothing for them.Because of his education and development policy Maldives lack skilled persons in every field.People were made to work like bonded labourers where they cannot make the ends meet with the salary.Those who can steal the public money they stole to make the ends meeet.

There is nothig in Maldives that people are happy about.The country has become a hell to live and raise a family.

I am a student studying in abroad.The last Republic day I was in Maldives and viewed a programme telcast by TV Maldives.The programme was produced on the basis of some research done on fromer president Late Mohamed Amin Didi by Maldives Historical research center.The programme was based on an article written by Mohamed Amin on his vision for the Maldives.

After viewing the programme I believe that the father of modern democracy in the Maldives is president Mohamed Amin.In his vison he planned to introduced modern education to Maldives,give education and right to women and aslo he planned to provide college education in the Maldives.And also he mentioned in his vision to introduce party system politics to Maldives.And he also completed 20% of the work he mentioned in the vision within the first year of his rule.

After viewing this programme I now believe the presidents that the Maldivians got after late President Amin Didi especially Maumoon are none but only dictators.

During my holiday in Male' I also visited some of my friends.Most of them live in one room homes.Most of the families living in Male' have to live and sleep in only one room with grown up boys and girls.Most of them gone to drugs.There is no life for them .The little income thes families earn goes on drug.

The islamic scholars now enter politics and confusing the public regarding religion.One day they say Maumoon is not a muslim of sunni sect and the other day they go to court.These islamic scholars don't they have anything better to do instead of mixing religion and politics.It looks like everyone is hungry to become the president.

The country needs people like Anni who have strength to face the dictators, who have the courage to challenge the dictators regime and those who can lead the Maldives for a better tomarrow.The country will change for better if he is elected to lead the Maldives for the next 5yrs.

Anonymous said...

This October elections in Maldives will be an unprecedented one for many reasons. It will be the fairest, no doubt about it. And people who say it will not be free and fair may be right. Because it is not possible in any country manned with human beings conduct an absolutely free and fair election. Anni and Qayyoom are so certain that it will be free and fair is because both of them have their satellites inside the election commission. And if some candidates doubt about the fairness be it that way. Who cares. One wins and all others loose. And let us try to figure out what will be next just immediately after the election. Sure that the common man would not expect to see chaos around Maldives... Let us be prepared for any kind of ultimatum...

Anonymous said...

Dr Hassan Saeed and Abdulla Saeed both are from Illuminati. They both are freemasons. We have enough evidence to prove this.

Their assignment is "freedom of religions in Maldives"

Reed their book written for their masters.