“Do we really need political parties?”: Dr Mausoom

A bill on political parties presented to the parliament by the government yesterday triggered debate over the merits of the political system in the Maldives.

Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Ahmed Abdulla presented the bill to the parliament on behalf of the government, with the stated aim of strengthen the democracy of the country and to provide a peaceful way to participate in political activities.

The bill contained aspects such as what a political party should and should not do and how members should be disciplined, how political parties can legally earn money and how a person can resign and join another political party.

Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MP Abdulla Mausoom said that the country was “now in chaos because of the invention of political parties.”

”The peacefulness and unity among us has changed,’ ‘Mausoom said. ”The question in our hearts is: ‘Do we really need political parties?’.”

He proposed to amend the article 18 of the bill in the committee stage.

Independent MP Ahmed Amir said that the question on his mind was why MPs were not included in the list of people “who cannot be a member of any political party.”

Amir claimed that the majority of the population “does not support political parties in the country.”

“More than 50 per-cent of the population of above the age of 18 is not involved in any political party,” he said.

DRP MP Rozaina Adam said that now it was too late to make bills governing the conduct of political parties.

Rozaina proposed to add a article whereby the Elections Commission (EC) was obligated to provide places for political parties to hold their meetings.

”When the opposition tries to hold a meeting we don’t usually get a place,” she claimed. ”So I suggest we design the bill in a way that political parties would have to get permission from the EC to hold meetings and they provides a place.”

She said that she had noticed that the screening of private phone calls was now very popular.

”I see they regularly screen our private phone calls – I wonder if this would not be spying, a power that the government has,” she said. ”I wish that when the bill gets passed there would be a solution for these types of things.”

MDP Chairperson and MP Mariya Ahmed Didi said she recalled a time when political parties were not registered, on the assumption that the invention of a political party system would disperse society.

”But people sought in their own ways to express their opinions and raised their voice for a political party system,” she said, ”and after listening to their voices parliament made a law permitting parties.”

She said that independent MPs also work together as a political party.

”They also holds meetings among them and speak one word,” she said.

DRP MP Ahmed Mohamed said he was against party system “now and then.”

”Forming a political party in a such small country is like playing with fire,” Mohamed said.

”I say, we hold a vote to see if people like or dislike having political parties,” he said. ”Like other MPs have said, the majority of the population does not belong to any political party.”

”In a family, Mum, Dad and their kids are in different parties, so the unity among them gets ruined,” he said.


34 thoughts on ““Do we really need political parties?”: Dr Mausoom”

  1. its about time, we let our difference aside and move on as a unified nation.
    i humbly welcome the notion of dissolving all political parties... yes maldives is too small for political parties to exist

  2. I support to take a vote on party system, whether we need political parties or not? I do agree this has fragmented our society and depleted social cohesion. I believe the change has been brought and we have a democratic system now and it can be operated without political party system now. This will also ease the burden on the President and would make more accountable to citizens. Also Majlis will run more smoothly without party conflict. Therefore it is time to go for a vote so that we can bring political peace and social integration. There are many countries with stable government without political parties and they are generally with low population level and religion based states. Based on Maldivian society and population, I agree it is time to eliminate political parties, I argue we can run democratic (3 power separated) and stable government in this country without party politics.

  3. Well it does sound interesting. But there should be a proper alternative if people are really serious about it.

  4. Ban those parties! Ban football (or any other sports) clubs while you're at it. Pluralism could spell paganism. God bless our Fascists!

  5. Political parties are a waste of time, IF there is an alternative way to bring social equality. Apparently there is none.

    The mistake people make is that Maldives is a democracy.. It is not yet a democracy. We have only started a process.. we are on the PATH, but not there yet..

  6. No, we don't need political parties, we had a very decent system before these political parties came into being.

    This had to happen because of your Honorary Leader, Maumoon Bleeding Abdul Gayoom, who became a dame menace to Maldivian Politics.

    But what can you do when you have a Moyamoon as the president who made a whore house out of the earlier Majlis, by dumping all his family, friends and in-laws.

  7. banning political parties is curtailing the right to association that is enshrined in the Maldivian Constitution and stated in the ICCPR.

    plus, banning political parties does not solve anything. what would help solve the situation is for better monitoring of political parties. this would include:

    - a proper mechanism to monitor party and campaign finances (donations, gifts etc; and
    - establish and enforce minimal governance, transparency and accountability standards

    it'd be great if the newly submitted bill has such provisions as mentioned above that don't just look good on paper, but are enforceable and pragmatic.

  8. The current mess due to the formation of political parties is a fine example of how democracy DOES NOT mean having a party system.

    Nothing is being done for the good of the country or its people due to party wars. Everyone is out to score political points.

    Perhaps we ought to try something like that in Switzerland. Let the people themselves decide and vote directly on matters of importance. That way, we can have different views without trying to beat everyone else.

    When the term of this government runs out in 3 and half years, very little would have been achieved due to party in-fighting. If the DRP then takes power, we will go through the same process once again with the DRP being unable to do anything beneficial to the country.

  9. Yes I agree we dont need political parties. But that may be a bit too late to solve all these issues now. We will still form groups in every political issue and work for or against it. I would say we need a stronger government. The powers of the government must be stronger like that in Singapore. It may be against democracy but thats the only way we had stability, less crime & social & economic growth. Authoritarian rule! YES!

  10. We can resolve these issues, but asking each political party to obtain 10,000 signatures to register a party and to have at least 10% of the vote in next election, otherwise they are disbanded making it literally impossible for Tom Dick and Harry to have political parties.

  11. Do we have to bring Zaeem back, after dissolving all the parties. I guess he would love to get a second chance.

  12. Two things:

    - Political parties have consitutional grounding
    - Imagine democracy or pluralism in this country without political parties? The problem is not political parties, but the personal jealousies that politicians in both parties cannot overcome.

  13. Where do we end up without a multiparty system rule?

    A kingdom or A dictatorship?

    Who would we bring into power? Be it King or Dick!

    What brilliant idea Dr. Mausoom!
    But don't tell me its Maumooooooooooooon

  14. Definition and interpretation of Democracy and party system of governance seem to me the stumbling block that some Maldivian MPS have in understanding and realising the sort of socio-political environment we are in. I have my sympathies for the likes of Dr. Mausoom. I can understand their difficulty in celebrating the new found freedoms.
    Imagine former members of an elite suddenly finding themselves without their patron to help promote their selfish agendas..surely such ex-parasites in the political sphere would call to abolish political parties and revert back to an authoritarian rule, in which they are the cronies of their leader.
    Maldivians can only have access to modern development opportunities if they rid themselves of the 1950s mentality. Minds have to change. Tolerance is the key.
    The Baathist philosophies of the former regime still linger in the minds of those who lack new ideas or a sense of individual freedom and creative energy. Such people only help to promote hooliganism and prefer to drag Maldives back into ignorance and depravity. It is sad that our parliament is filled with such people who fail to see opportunities for development with democracy as the guiding light. They lack the proper mindset that can recognise today's realities in the social sector. Their preoccupation with building their own images, their romantic involvement with rhetoric, prevent them from seeing the worldview required for today's legislators. Maldivians deserve better. And we have a lot of work to do ...

  15. Leadership does not equate paternalism. Being a public or political personality does not equate being a wise or even a rational person. Mindset is at the core of it all. We as a nation need to grow and develop at a human level, learn to be confident rather than show bravado, discuss issues and ideas with less defensiveness, give and take, and choose assertive dialogue over aggression. Political parties need to steer their membership in this direction, and they will be able to find workable solutions to our national problems. Let us hope this bill will assist the process of growth and development.

  16. I really agree with Ahmed A.N. but at the mean time do understand the commotion against it.

    Just to compare some facts of history; In America in the eraly stage of its party system, even George Washington, dismayed by the quarreling between Hamilton and Jefferson, devoted much of his Farewell Address to condemning parties.

    Because the same thing happened there then like DRP condemning MDP policies.

    When Jefferson organized his followers to oppose Hamilton's policies, it seemed to Hamilton and his followers that Jefferson was opposing, not just a policy or a leader, but the very concept of a national government. Jefferson for his part thought Hamilton was not simply pursing bad policies, but was subverting the constitution itself.

    It is necessary for people to be able to separate in their minds quarrels over policies. When this distiction is not there, parties will be object of profound suspicion and defended, at first, only as temporary expedients.

  17. i'm all for banning political party. i know there would always be corrupt people in the parliament but parties facilitate it more. sort institutionalizing corruption. an mp shouldn't have to vote against his conscience because of party pressure, which is exactly what is happening now. people have to have a mature idea of democracy and party system. right now it is more of a gangland system than a party system. maybe parties could come in the future, but not yet.

  18. Mausoom is right when he says “More than 50 per-cent of the population of above the age of 18 is not involved in any political party". But he doesn't seem to understand WHY we aren't in any political party. Most of us aren't in any party because there isn't any real "political" party in Maldives that is about policies rather than personalities. I personally know many Maldivians who are leftist and would join a left leaning political party and similarly there are many who believe in a right-wing solution to problems and would join a right leaning party. But there are no such parties in Maldives. Maldivian politics is currently defined by personalities and opposition or support for these personalities.

    So what is needed is not scrapping of political parties but forming parties based on policies. And for this to work properly we need an educated electorate. But nobody seems to be concerned about educating people on how a democratic political system ought to function.

    And finally I want to ask Mausoon, why are you in a party in the first place? And why did you contest for the position of VP in the last congress of your party?

  19. i totally agree with Dr.Mausoom,do we really need political party system. Maldives is unique in every aspect. They dont need to invent the wheels they had. Saying everything you see in west is democracy does not mean that will fit always in Maldives. People of Maldives have lived in peace for over 2000 years without parties. In retrospect if see what we have achieved past 5 years of Nasheed's democracy and party system, what really we have achieved, I doubt, we have got anything beneficial. I call Dr.Mausoom and others to bring a motion to the parliament go for public referendum to abolish party system.

  20. The main problem with Maldivian politics is that people have lost confidence over politics. The political parties should try to regain confidence of the citizens to politics and this is the reason why 50 percent of the entitled Maldivian are not in political parties.

  21. Hi NR
    Thanx 4 da Q.
    "Do we really need political parties"? was a question, not a stance. I welcomed the bill as an overdue necessity to give confidence to people on party system. I also suggested that media should concentrate more on educating people on politics rather than playing devil's advocate. The Democratic march has only just begun... !

  22. I opt for monarchy. Therefore no parties, no differences. Just one power. The ruler.

  23. We do not know or practice enough democracy to make an informed decision on Political Parties. Extensive effort is required to inform the people of what they are, and how they work. Perties themselves need to adhere to a strict code of conduct and regulations. In my view, Political Parties should not be abolished but regulated and made accountable.

  24. Dear all,
    For Gayoom (fomer President) Presidency and his DRP was for sustaining his family power and living in Maldives as "God". For Mohamed Nasheed (Anni..President currently) Presidency and MDP is means to spread anti Islamic secularism and extreme liberal values such as drinking alcohol and Gay rights (see no further..visit Dhivehi Observer and spend a day with people like Adil Saleem and Kerafa Naseem). For Dr.Waheed and Dr Hassan only wants presidency for the fame and ego of it and create another elite families! For Gasim..its all about his business! For Thasmeen its about duplicating Gayoom's 30 years! I GUESS WE ORDINARY MALDIVIANS ARE PRETTY MESSED UP AND HOPELESS!!! all we need is a leader who respects Islamic values, who understand the true needs of ordinary folks..who dislike curroption..and doesn't wann be in power forever! May Allah SW show us such a leader!

  25. PHd is for Permanent Head Demage ... so Dr.mausoom's view is not a surprise

  26. Rozaina,

    Let me clear something for you, I work in country's largest telecommunications company, Screening, listening phone calls and SMS of politicians is nothing new in this country. Previous Regime did the same. I thought when a more democratic government came in all this would stop. But they are worse. YES! I means worse.

    Hope you are clear on screening phone calls.

  27. I am surprised we are having this debate. Surprised, a well educated man like Dr. Mausoon can go on one track mind. But then again in Maldives politicians or MPs are very one track minded. Sometimes even if they dont believe in something they will say 'yes sir'.

    A party system allows the ruling party to be questioned, issues raised to citizen which is needed in any country especially if you are to think for the good of its citizens.

    Are families divided? We have 3 parties in our family. But I can guarantee that we are not divided in our other areas of relationship coz we dont make it personal like politicians do. People who joined parties at that time were in three categories. One: compelled to join the then leading party (DRP), Two: became activist because they had enough of a dictatorship and third didnt know they were in a party coz someone some got their ID and put them in a party without their knowledge. That will definitely break a family.

    What is happening in the Maldives right now has nothing to do with party system. The anger, the poverty, the frustration, the living condition are all because we had greedy people leading the people for a longtime. They got their 'hazana' filled. People became subject rather than citizens. They waited for handouts and jobs from the govt. People who thrashed out of that systems was people who were independent having control of their livelihood.
    If anything need to be done is to increase the number of people in a party. Change that criteria and we will have 2 or 3 parties in the country which is crucial for a democracy. If every ill fated minister, or a Dr, or a Dick forming a party.
    EC to find a hall for parties to meet. This is so hilarious Rozena even for you. Each party build one in their homes..one floor their tall building can be used.

  28. When you accidentally or intentionally punch your nuts, it doesn't mean it is the fault of your nuts; just you!

  29. Doesn't matter what system we have. If Maldivians don't educate themselves, nothing will change.

  30. This tells how immature at best and how dangerous at worst DRP mentality is. They saw the way Maldives was under Maumoon the best way there could be. You can easily see it in their voices all the time - this time the cat completely came out of the bag.

    Since Dr. Mausoom see his Maldives as a very peaceful and united country before the day of the political parties, here is a few things he probably never knew about the Maldives.

    - The so called peace and unity was a result of oppression. As widely accepted, total oppression will deliver total peace.

    - There was no concept of social equality. People who had connections to the regime found prosperity while others were fighting to keep their children fed and clothed. The next lot of people who prospered are the shameless and the deceitful. They found ways to connect with the elite. Hence we curently have a large number of shameless and deceitful people as Maldives power brokers.

    - The whole country basically got ruined by drugs under the very eyes of Maumoon regime. A very small country with a powerful government controlling everything they wanted to control. Yet drugs was brought in and distributed in daylight and supposedly government did know nothing about it. It all started with a small amount and look at the state of the country now. How was this a desirable time Dr. mausoom.

    - justice was basically non-existent during the so called united Maldives. All orders of justice came from the president's office and it was a case of handing favours to different people. To this day nobody has any confidence in the Maldivian Justice system.

    I could go on but I will stop here by asking Dr. Mausoom if her really wants to go to those days because political parties is a by-product of free societies.

  31. I sort of agree.

    We need only two political parties ; ruling party and opposition.

    Nothing more!

  32. Are you really MPS? All we need is qualified MPS' not Chefs. What is more important today is to go for a fresh parliament election and to elect more qualified people to represent us. Olf should go back to hotel school kitchen.


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