Majlis election: Nasheed calls for MDP restructuring after election defeat

Former President Mohamed Nasheed has called for new leadership within the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) following defeat in what he described as an “unfair” but accepted parliamentary election.

“I request new people to come and run the party,” Nasheed told the media today.

The party’s figurehead said he will continue to serve the party in the future and hopes that members of the party would make clear his role.

“I want new people to come forward to run the party. But I will not go away from the party, I will always remain in doing party work,” he added.

Nasheed, a co-founder of MDP and it’s first chairperson, was elected as the President of Maldives in the first democratic election in 2008.

The position of both president and vice president of the party remain vacant after party president Dr Ibrahim Didi and VP Alhan Fahmy were removed in a no-confidence vote in April 2012. Nasheed said today that a new party president should be elected soon.

“It is important for the party to restructure with these new results and with new people and go forward fast,“ he said.

Commenting on the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives’ (PPM) comments about reforming the MDP, Nasheed said that the work done by all parties in the Maldives needed reform.

“If PPM says that, it should be an inspiration for us. I believe when parties tell each other to strengthen their functioning, it must be accepted,” Nasheed said.

The function of holding the government accountable would be difficult without a majority, he noted, but it would still be carried out by the MDP in other forms such as questioning state institutions and bringing issues to the attention of the public.

“We did hope for a majority. I was hoping for around 45 seats. Not winning the election was a great loss for us. But I don’t think the result is such a loss that we should be so worried that we stop our work and become weak.”

“The MDP will remain as a big party, will hold rallies, give speeches, take trips, will say whatever has to be said politically at anytime. The MDP will protest, MDP will raise their voice over issues. MDP will carry out peaceful political activity?” Nasheed continued.

An official party statement issued today said that the party hopes its members will remain in reforming the country, and assured that the elected candidates of the party will remain in “preventing the country from going off track” and in reforming the judiciary.

“The MDP will always go forward in the path shown by the members and supporters of the party, in ways which are most beneficial for the country,” the MDP press statement read.

Parliamentary Elections

The reasons for losing the election previously suggested by members of the MDP leadership were echoed by Nasheed today

He said the defeat was a result of multiple factors, including undue influence, fear, money, candidates, policies, campaign budget shortages, and a lack of confidence in the election.

Nasheed suggested that expelling employees from companies with government shares and government positions also had a negative impact on the results.

“The voter turnout was very low in many areas. I believe among these reasons are removing Elections Commission members, and lack of confidence in the election from the members of the public,” Nasheed said.

Criticising the Supreme Court’sremoval of the Elections Commission (EC) president and vice president a few days ahead of the parliamentary elections, Nasheed said that such an election will be “very difficult to be considered fair”.

He said that it was a display of power to the public and it resulted in a low voter turnout, as many people believed the election would not make a difference.

“We believe this is not a fair transparent election because of that. I am not saying that things didn’t go well on election day. I’m not saying that we don’t generally accept the election.”

He also noted that the leadership of any party and the those involved in it should take responsibility for the victories and losses.

Commenting on the leadership’s responsibility for the defeat, Nasheed said that negligence of leaders should be accepted when faced with a failure, but that there had been no such negligence to a level which required going into detail and pointing fingers.

Congratulating President Abdulla Yameen for achieving “a great victory”, Nasheed called on him to lead and work with the MDP in reforming the judiciary and sustaining the democratic system.

“We hope that our members will do substantial work in the parliament as an opposition party. We believe there is a lot of work that has to be done through the People’s Majlis.”

“I hope the government will use their parliament majority with care, that they will not take our members to court, and that these members will not have to face extraordinary obstacles.”


13 thoughts on “Majlis election: Nasheed calls for MDP restructuring after election defeat”

  1. 1. Find a niche (justice etc..)
    2. Start welfare networks
    2. Do not bad mouth religious conservatives
    3. Get rid of LIBERAL HARDCORES like Shaheed
    4. Build a team

  2. HEP Nasheed,

    A suggestion. Get rid of ranters. Constructive, open minded, logical, responsive, accountable, non-corruptive leaders are needed.

    The ranters have lost their introductory entertainment rough-touch with the public. Now we need more reliable ones.

  3. Nasheed is the man who is responsible all these failures .

    Based on his action in the past, his message is clear that he will try to continue to hijacked the party and will not allow anyone else to take over the leadership.

    He is a man who will do exactly opposite of what he says. We got to wait and see and this man can not believe .

  4. So it looks like we will have more Nasheed instead of less Nasheed in the following days to come.

  5. If we were to strain the fine grained residue of what has happened since 2008 to now - what we can deduce is majority of Maldivians do not hold democratic values highly, but rather enjoy thought of democracy at a superficial level but at the last minute sell even their sacred right to vote for a temporary cash-flow relief.

    PPM did not campaign on a moral high ground like MDP did throughout these years, but rather they coerced, influenced, spread fear even resorted to arson and then waited until the last few days of an election to distribute enormous sums of cash to the poor and needy in return for votes or to take away the right to vote. These practices had become so deep rooted as the norm, even MDP is guilty of resorting to some during the past few election.

    But this parliamentary election and Nasheed's announcement in this article marks a new era. This is the beginning of the end of that democratic movement on which people embarked the day Evan Naseem was killed.

    What lies ahead for MDP is bleak. They do not have sources of funding to fight this regime in any upcoming election. The only movement they can embark on even with a new leadership is that of patience and wait for development to take place in these rural isolated islands where our majority still resides. With such development, expectations are tend to increase. And it is MDP's role to ensure those expectations remain intact and higher than the day before. This will mount pressure on this government to perform in order to avoid hate built up during elections. MDP i believe will play a far better and decent role as an opposition party than a ruling party, and perhaps that is what MDP should be doing for the next 10-15 years with this new leadership.

  6. For MDP to win the parliamentary elections they needed

    1. money
    2. moral high ground

    They had neither and lost pathetically.

    Now is the time for ordinary members to come out and reclaim the moral high ground. This can only be done by cleaning their own backyard.

    Ends do justify means when you are fighting a moral battle. Lets hope Nasheed learned his lesson.

  7. Very happy to hear this! Introspection is the BEST FORM of true democracy! No point in blaming the whole world like Reekho Moosa, Mariyam Didi continues to do!

    Also, EXTREMELY HAPPY that ALL THE JOKERS who made MDP look like cheap fools are ALL OUT of the Parliament. MDP has many more intellectuals and decent people, than what was portrayed by these Jokers!

    Secondly, get rid of the jokers from DRP completely! I truly believe that this DILUTED the MDP BRAND completely , wherein it was understood by one & all that MDP Leadership will do anything to get votes, by EMBRACING Thasneem, Kanal Nasheed etc.

    Thirdly, Nasheed should remain as the INSPIRATIONAL Leader to take the party through this extremely critical transition. He has to TRANSFORM himself from an ACTIVIST to an ADMINISTRATOR & LEADER and help new intellectuals to be his guiding advisors at all times.

    Fourthly, EMBRACE ALL MALDIVIANS , whatever their belief is as a core group, rather than trying to do things ONLY FOR MDP group!

    LASTLY, NO MORE DRAMA - Banning Spas, Calling for ban worldwide on Tourists to SOME resorts in the Maldives, calling for strikes in certain resorts etc.


    MDP is true democracy and free speech SANS drama, abuse & corruption

    Otherwise, expect MDP to be in the same shoes as the current DRP!

  8. Reading the comments here earlier say more than anything.
    The smartest comment made by Nasheed in a long time - yes, MDP for starters need new leadership.

    The most important is educated and respected people in leading roles - people who can inspire and motivate a nation.

    MDP today does not have any clear and realistic political agenda.
    Its activities and words used from a podium is more related to a vendetta and against past regimes and individuals - thats very short minded.
    Yes, it brings support, yes, it brings supporters to the party.....but it does not bring anything NEW to the country or to the individual Maldivian.

    Democracy has taken over, now it is a matter of allowing democracy to rule.

    1. A political agenda
    2. Leaders to be loyal to the agenda itself
    3. Economic reforms that make the agenda realistic and goals achievable
    4. Be the good example - as individuals and elected people in leading a party as well as elected by people to hold a MP post

    "Singing the same old song" has its limits.
    Other songs take over popularity

    At one time, people voted for Nasheed under the word 'CHANGE'
    Now its time for another change, a better change.

    Corruption is a huge task to tackle - for all parties - and it should be on everyone's agenda.

  9. Maumoonism has won in a big way and it is not because of their bravery. It is the weakness of MDP. The fallout from the failure to run an efficient government when given the opportunity in 2008, didn't go well with the voters. People lost faith in its ability to get things done the way they should.

    MDP should bring in people with experience, integrity and qualifications. It should detach from Nasheed and run like political party with better internal democracy.

  10. To all those who think Nasheed has finally got the message and talk about the need for educated new blood, could you step up then? Please do.

    Its so easy to criticize things after the fact, and the fact is this whole election could have gone in many different ways. MDP has failed here, but the idea that MDP is fated to fail is an illusion- they came close. I hope those people who think they have better ideas stand up and tip this in their favour. If thats what you want.

  11. MDP leader ship with Anni is not a problem, The only person in Maldives who is a true leader is Anni. The problem is not with MDP leadership, the problem is with the people and the country itself. 99.50% of the population are abnormal people, under educated, unexposed, under nourished, impoverished suffering from some kind of mental problems due to long-term indoctrination of madness in the name of religion, The country itself is not a country it is the Nation of pirates on high seas, the very unfortunate people who have been neglected by the nature and their brutal past authoritarian influences , and definitely it was never any shortcoming in the people , a party like MDP with a person like Anni can only revolutionize their life. MDP should concentrate to take the control on the economy, produce young entrepreneurs and business tycoon, and invest through them for social welfare networks and for education. This is what the leadership should be able to do now. If Anni is unable to get control on the economy then there is no way MDP can survive as a political party, you can change the leadership but without addressing the core issue you will have the same result.

  12. Very well said, Abdulla Solih. May I remind those who claim that MDP did not get the result we wanted because of President Nasheed and party leadership issues that President Nasheed won 49% of the votes in the last Presidential election and that no one is under any illusion about the circumstances in which President Yameen got his 51%.

    President Nasheed stepped back on the 16th November not because he didn’t know what went on, but because he did not want us subjected to the brutality of the police and army should he not have conceded defeat. May I also remind Alibeyya that MDP won the majority of seats in the Council election and MDP got the largest bloc of votes as a party this election. I believe that the Majlis results are in line with the results of the Presidential Election.

    In just five years MDP has got more support from the people than PPM, the party of former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom who ruled for 30 years. The MDP has been tested with a vengeance: a parliament which obstructed legislation for social and economic reform for much of the time Raees Nasheed was in office, the coup that removed Raees Nasheed from office after just three years in office, and all that followed, the hijacking of the electoral process by the Supreme Court in violation of our constitution, the vote rigging, intimidation and vote buying that went on...

    We have emerged from all of this as the party leading in the hearts of our people.. We may not have got a majority in Majlis but we must acknowledge all the brave warriors of the freedom movement who voted for Anneh Dhivehiraaje. Having said this I agree with President Nasheed in what he said about strengthening the party. MDP has been in election mode since President Nasheed was removed under duress from office in the coup of 7 February 2012. We now have to get organised to be an opposition party to shadow this government and hold this government accountable for its election pledges and for its actions these 5 years. And to get ready for 2018.

    This is going to be an exciting time for the MDP. We have a vibrant young generation with us and I am confident that MDP will continue to show leadership in upholding the democratc traditions MDP has fought so hard for.

  13. This is going to be an exciting time for the MDP.

    The MDP can do nothing, they do not have enough money. The wealth of The Maldives is in the hands of the few. The supreme court is in the hands of these few extremely rich people. People were bribed, sure, and now they will get what they deserve.


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