MBC cancels presidential debate between run-off candidates

The Maldives Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) has announced that it has cancelled the scheduled presidential debate between the two candidates competing in the run-off election of the presidential election, which had originally been scheduled to take place next Monday night.

Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)’s candidate Mohamed Nasheed will face Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) candidate Abdulla Yameen in the run-off vote on September 28.

Former President Nasheed won 45.45 percent of the popular vote or 95,224 votes while PPM Candidate Yameen came second with 53,099 votes.  The Jumhooree Party (JP) leader Gasim Ibrahim secured 50,422 votes to finish the race in third position while incumbent President Mohamed Waheed finished at the bottom with 10,750 votes – 5.13 percent of the popular vote.

In a press statement released on Sunday, the state broadcaster announced that the debate had to be called off after Nasheed’s office had informed them that it was very difficult for the former president to give time for the debate while campaigning.

The statement also said that the PPM had informed the MBC that Yameen was prepared to take part in the debate.

“Therefore, it is with great sadness to announce that the MBC and the Maldives National University will not be able to hold a presidential debate between two candidates who are contesting in the run-off elections,” read the statement.

According to the MBC, the debate had been fashioned to ask questions on areas such as the economy and health care, and the candidates would be given the opportunity to explain their policies on each subject.

MDP Spokesperson Hamid Abdul Ghafoor told Minivan News that the MBC had informed the parties that there was to be a debate with just two days’s notice. Such a short period of time, Ghafoor said, was not adequate for the party prepare for such a serious debate.

“For a large democratic political party such as ours, we simply cannot go over there and speak anything. It requires preparation, committee meetings within the party. We don’t want to go there unprepared,” Ghafoor told Minivan News.

He added that even for the previous debates, two of the party’s permanent committees had jointly worked in preparation for the debate.

“This is what happens when [debate organisers] seriously lack the understanding of how things work in a democratic culture. They should be more organised than this,” he said.

The MBC successfully hosted two national debates – one, with all presidential candidates and the other with all the running mates.

During each debate, moderator Heena Waleed posed questions to the participants on areas concerning education, health and economy, development and social protection. The MBC claimed that the questions were based on a survey done by the Maldives National University (MNU) on citizens’ concerns.

The run-off is scheduled for September 28, though subject to an ongoing Supreme Court case filed by the JP against the Elections Commission requesting the court to annul the first round in which the party placed third.


13 thoughts on “MBC cancels presidential debate between run-off candidates”

  1. This is the best campaigning opportunity for Nasheed who is know as the darling of the media. He even appeared in a film. Very surprising that Nasheed came up with a lame excuse at the last minute..

    As Yameen approaches issues in a technical manner, Nasheed may find it challenging to have a one on one. But leaders should not shy away from challenges..

  2. Yameen uses big technical words,which when you finally figure out the meaning turns out to be the kind of advice a so called economist should not be giving at a time of financial difficulties like that. Had to refer to dictionaries to find out some words he used. Surprising that he would talk like that when addressing the general public.

    Though no idea why Nasheed is not particiapating despite doing so well in the first debate. Hamid might be right also he did seem very well prepared last time, MDP seems to be the only party preparing well for elections, debates and manifestos.

  3. With Waheed's brother in TVM feeding all the questions to Yameen beforehand, it would hardly be a fair debate. And anyway, it is rather late for a Presidential debate when there was so much time between the 7th and the 28th during which time TVM could have better organized it. Given the time left I believe President Nasheed would have more effective campaigning to do than to please PPM and TVM.

  4. @chicken out? on Sun, 22nd Sep 2013 4:00 PM

    "As Yameen approaches issues in a technical manner,..."

    What was the last thing Yameen said in a "technical manner"? Drilling for oil perhaps? I can't recall anything he said that's worthy of the term "technical".

  5. Nasheed knows that he does not have capacity to challenge Yameen in open forum like this and he can not justified what he had mentioned in his recent visit to Denmark.

    He is well aware that " Jesuits" are not a group of people who will defend Islam as translated by Rajje TV .

    Laadhenee Nasheed has no guts and he is good at twisting things for his personal benefit.

  6. @facts. Really! Interesting you call yourself 'facts'. I personally find it interestiung that you would use a personal opinion about the whole thing and sign yourself 'facts.' Obviously critical thinking is not your strength. I suggest you look up the words- fact and opinion- and work within the definitions! Or are you the new kuribee?In that case I will just regard you as light entertainment!

  7. A debate is to discuss a subject in detail as a part of formal exchange of opinion.

    The last one we saw was a Q & A session!!!!
    And like some already expresses here, Yaameen would have ensured he got the questions before he approach any test like this!

  8. When George Bush senior refused a debate with contender Bill Clinton in the 90s election, George Bush was met with people dressed in chickens constmes where ever he went. Finally he agreed to debate

  9. Patriot has a valid point. It is not a a debate if there isn't an opportunity for candidates to question each others' statements. But MDP should have a better reason for not participating.

  10. I just say Iam a bit dissapointed too, I tbink Yameens austerity mesures vs MDP stimulus economic aproach, the public would find more appeal in the latter

  11. And that's why MDP refused to participate. There will be no elections. Independence will be won on the battlefield - through bloodshed and violence.

    The enemy brought this upon themselves. They have made peaceful resolution impossible; and violent revolution is now inevitable.


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