Minivan News spends 15 Minutes with Abdulla Kamaaluddheen (AK), Maldivian Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries.
Q1) You came 4th in the election for Maleâ€™, which returns just two seats in the Majlis. Are you still a Minister after the election defeat?
Yes I am. I am the Minister for Agriculture & Fisheries and acting environment minister.
Q2) The incident in Maleâ€™ on the 12-13th August was described as an attempted coup by Dr Shaheed but the Maldivian Democratic Party says it was a pro-democracy rally. Do you think the August events impacted on your campaign?
I was unable to get enough concentration of my support. I was involved heavily in the relief effort and I could not get enough concentration to the campaign. That was a failure on my part. The other candidates were able to campaign when I was focused on the Tsunami.
Q3) But I spoke to Ibrahim Ismail earlier and he said he was under house arrest until the last week of December, which he said impacted on his campaign. Yet, he won over 6,500 votes.
President Gayoom decided to not to sue people who were arrested [after the 12-13th August] and that gave a boost to Ibraâ€™s campaign.
Q4) Are you suggesting that President Gayoom should not have dropped the charges against Ibra?
No, not at all. I mean, until the 26th December Ibra was put at a disadvantage but after that I was put at a disadvantage. So, that put us on an equal footing. My election result was a failure on my part not to give enough concentration to my campaign.
Q5) Do you feel you got adequate backing from President Gayoom for your campaign?
I did not seek support from the government. I have been a Member of Parliament since 1992. Out of five elections Iâ€™ve stood in so far Iâ€™ve lost two and won one and further won two by-elections. So, Iâ€™ve been a Member of Parliament for many years.
Q6) President Gayoom was quoted in an AFP interview the other day saying he wanted to introduce a multi-party system into the Maldives. Are you for a multi-party system?
I have always supported a multi-party system for the Maldives. Definitely, now the time is right for a multi-party democracy. A party system would be better for the Maldives and would allow for good people to come into public life.
Q7) So, will you join the Maldivian Democratic Party?
No, I will not and no further comment. This is still a closed society and I donâ€™t want to elaborate on my decision.
I have no personal business interests, I am only interested in serving the people. I will continue my sincere service for the people of the Maldives and I intend to continue that service in whatever capacity I can.