In a 'raazuvaa' (Maldivian Chess) challenge match, the player who wins the last three games swaggers away in triumph, irrespective of how many rounds were played earlier and who won them. Winning the Thimarafushi seat in the re-poll scheduled for 11 July would give MDP a raazuvaa type chance to walk away like a winner, despite the setbacks it suffered in the main Majlis elections.
For DRP on the other hand, a defeat for Ghassan, scion of their beloved 'Zaeem,' at the hands of Thimarafushi Mustafa, more famous till now as a sea cucumber merchant, is unthinkable. DRP revolves around Zaeem and Ghassan is his anointed successor.
Earlier, the High Court of Maldives had annulled the results of the two ballot boxes polled in Thimarafushi on 9th May, citing the prevailing atmosphere, which in its opinion was not conducive to a free and fair election. The Court ordered a re-poll be conducted after establishing a more ambient atmosphere. This has left the two main candidates gunning for each other.
Miadhu Daily reports that Mustafa believes some people had spread stories and created confusion and doubts on the situation in Thimarafushi on Election Day. He says these stories were spread after Ghassan was sure of defeat. Mustafa also claims he has information that DRP is sending a group of gangsters to destabilize Thimarafushi and cause unrest.
In the meanwhile, Ghassan Maumoon has told DhiTV that the atmosphere in Thimarafushi is still not conducive for free or fair voting. He said election commission members and a large number of police officers must remain on the island to ensure peaceful and calm voting. Ghassan also complained that he had not been given the opportunity to hold a rally in the island.
Mustafa's chief weapon against Ghassan appears to be to raise chauvinistic feelings in Thimarafushi, playing on the fact that Ghassan is from Male. Ghassan's tactic appears to be to appeal to the youth by emphasizing Mustafa's age, calling him Mustafa Bey, which in Dhivehi has a double meaning (elder brother/old man).
According to an analyst, going by the results (not officially released) of the valid vote boxes in Guraidhoo, Gaadhiffushi and elsewhere, Ghassan has a lead of approximately 260 votes in hand. Mustafa needs to gain two thirds of the Thimarafushi vote to cover this deficit and win. This is not as difficult as it seems because Mustafa had earlier gained that much and more in the canceled results.