Nasheed calls for tourism workers to strike should election be delayed

Former President and Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) presidential candidate Mohamed Nasheed has called on tourism workers to strike, should run-off elections scheduled for September 28 be delayed.

Following Nasheed’s appeal, the Maldives Association for Tourism Industries (MATI) issued a statement warning of “irreparable consequences” to the Maldivian economy unless the election is expedited.

“It is absolutely important to expedite the election and settle the issue or else there would be irreparable consequences to the Maldives, and especially to tourism which is the back bone of the economy. Therefore, it is important for everyone to see the importance of this in the interest of the country at large,” said MATI Chairman M.U. Manik, one of pioneers of the country’s 40 year-old tourism industry.

The Supreme Court ordered the Elections Commission (EC) on Monday to indefinitely postpone run-off polls until it issues a verdict in an ongoing case filed by the Jumhooree Party, which placed third and is now seeking to annul the vote.

Nasheed emerged as the front runner in the first round of the polls with 45.45 percent (95,224 votes), followed by Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) candidate Abdulla Yameen who received 25.35 percent (53,099 votes). JP candidate and resort tycoon Gasim Ibrahim narrowly missed out on the run-off with 24.07 percent (50,422), and contested the results at the Supreme Court alleging electoral fraud despite unanimous positive assessments of polls by local and international election observers.

“I call on tourist workers to strike if there is no election on Saturday. For everyone to strike. There is an election scheduled on Saturday – whether that election happens or not is in one sense in your hands and mine,” Nasheed told tourism workers, at an event on Monday evening to explain the party’s manifesto.

Secretary General of the Tourism Employees Association of the Maldives (TEAM), Mauroof Zakir, told Minivan News the organisation was holding discussions on whether to endorse Nasheed’s call.

“We are discussing whether TEAM as an organisation will back [Nasheed’s] call or leave it up to individual resort workers. We have to think about the consequences on employees’ jobs. Many resort workers are calling us and are saying they are willing to go on strike, but in such a way that resorts continue to operate,” Mauroof said.

The tourism industry is indirectly responsible for upwards of 70 percent of the Maldives’ GDP, and a substantial majority of Maldivian resort workers support the MDP.

Results from resort ballot boxes in the first round revealed overwhelming support for the party, even at many properties owned by Nasheed’s political opponents such as Vice President Waheed Deen’s Bandos Island Resort (51 percent MDP).

The trend was particularly notable at prominent international chains in the luxury tourism sector, famous for providing relaxing and idyllic escapes for honeymooners, including Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort and Spa (58 percent MDP), Dusit Thaani Maldives (73 percent MDP), Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Resort (62 percent MDP), and One and Only Reethi Rah (75 percent MDP).

Tourism Minister Ahmed Adheeb has meanwhile told local media he will not allow politicians to sacrifice the tourism industry and its workers, and appealed to staff not to strike.

“They plan and involve the tourism industry every time there is political turmoil, every time things do not happen as they want. They called for a tourism boycott in international media. There were effects from that. We are seeing the same thing now. We cannot allow any politician to involve the tourism industry in politics. We cannot allow politicians to sacrifice the tourism industry and its workers every time things are politically turbulent,” he told newspaper Haveeru.

The Supreme Court will be hearing closing arguments this evening.


30 thoughts on “Nasheed calls for tourism workers to strike should election be delayed”

  1. This is like Nasheed voluntarily hanging himself in public.

    Bad move MDP

  2. PPM have said f***k YOU to YOU the people, because they do not want you to challenge their ferocious lust for the ecstatic BLISS of POWER, a rush like none other which they derive through YOUR destruction!

    SO YOU HAVE TO FIGHT THEM! There is no easy way.

    Below are cut and pasted Hadith’s from Bukhari/ Muslim, this is the side of Islam Yameen does NOT want you to understand whilst he is in power.

    I feel sad to do this, because religion should only be a MERCY. But the brutal repression of your right to the restoration of that which was stolen from YOU and our children leaves me no choice.

    “Whoever of you sees something wrong, let him change it with his hand. If unable to, then let him change it with his tongue. If unable, then with his heart. And that is the weakest degree of faith.”

    “The best jihad is speaking the truth to an unjust ruler.”

    “When you see my Community too intimidated by an oppressor to tell him, ‘You are a tyrant,’ then you may as well say good by to them.”

    “Command the right and forbid the wrong, or Allah will put the worst of you in charge of the best of you, and the best will supplicate Allah and be left unanswered.”

  3. I know a lot of hardline Nasheed-ists will disagree but I also side with those who say that this can never be a good move for a local politician. Calling for economic sanctions or disrupting economic activities is all well and good if those actions are taken by foreign parties. However, a local politician should never do something as irresponsible as this.

  4. The Question is, are the stakes high enough for this move. The move is calculated to strike the heart of those who really have the power in Maldives.

    With a supreme court that clearly is open to do the bidding of a few, it really is a desperate time for those who want to enjoy democracy in the Maldives. The supreme court looks highly likely to annul the election results. Do we want to say later, what could we have done? Id rather the strike did not happen though, but its a brilliant as a threat.

  5. We are planning a family vacation to Maldives in 1st week of November.Just got to know about this while searching for hotel destinations in Maldives.
    I wonder would it be a right holiday destination in coming days?

  6. @Ben
    Can I use this quote in something I am writing? And could you give a reference/source?

  7. Will someone pls explain to Nasheed that he won 95,000 votes. It makes no difference what the SC rules. His 95,000 isn't going to DISSAPEAR even if the vote is repeated.

    Unless he does stupid things like this endangering the tourist industry itself. This is political suicide.

  8. @Skeptical Inquirer

    I am here in Male'. Feelings are running high. Not just with the leaders of the MDP and frontline MDP members who have been working day and night for the elections since the coup of February7 2012. I am speaking with people in the market, people on the street, hardworking people who are weary of the chaos and just want everything to settle down.People are angry. We want to vote on 28 September. And we will vote on 28 September Insha Allah.

    It is people like Adheeb with their greed and addiction to power who have brought the Maldives to its knees as a failed state.

    Things have gone too far this time. Even a worm will turn. And the worm has turned. People who swore to me they will never vote for President Nasheed pledged their vote for President Nasheed today. You can only push people so much. Enough is enough.

  9. tsk tsk

    And I don't know what you mean hardline Nasheed-ists.

    If you mean people who want a vibrant future and justice and the freedom to live without fear and impunity then count me in as a hard line Nasheed-ist.

    As for responsibility, you should talk! How responsible is it for the Jumhoory Party not to attend the meetings of the Elections Commission PRIOR to the election to resolve issues of the voter register and then create a song and a dance all the way to the Supreme Court over the same Voter Register. Riyaz Rasheed representative of JP to this committee attended ONE meeting, that was the first meeting and then spent the whole time whining about the agenda of the meeting not being sent to him in advance and not a sign of him after that. You call THIS responsibility? Holding a nation hostage because MR Riyaaz Rasheed couldnt be bothered to do the work he was supposed to do?

    The decision by the Supreme Court has the stamp of yet another of the unique coups that Hassan Saeed talks about so eloquently.

    So, please don't moralise about what it is we should do or not do.


    point 184, 194 and 195 of above page

    I Know these Hadith but for now I just ripped it of above website I've no copyright over it.

    of course quote any of my nonsense, hehe, welcome

    @Damn: If it's Ironic "I" am quoting Hadith - must be insanely ironic when PPM quotes it...


    point 184, 194 and 195 of above page

    184. Abu Sa'id al-Khudri said, "I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, 'Whoever of you sees something wrong should change it with his hand; if he cannot, then with his tongue; if he cannot, then with his heart, and that is the weakest form of belief.'" [Muslim]

    194. Abu Sa'id al-Khudri reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The best jihad is a just word in the presence of a tyrannical ruler." [Abu Dawud and at-Tirmidhi]

    195. Abu 'Abdullah Tariq ibn Shihab al-Bajali al-Ahmasi reported that a man asked the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, after he had put his feet in his stirrups, "What jihad is the best?" He said, "A true word in the presence of a tyrannical ruler." [an-Nasa'i]

    I Know these Hadith but for now I just ripped it of above website I’ve no copyright over it.

    of course quote any of my nonsense, hehe, welcome

    @Damn: If it’s Ironic “I” am quoting Hadith – must be insanely ironic when PPM quotes it…

  12. In that case can we ask Adheeb to stop talking about politics and talking all sorts of nonsense in support of his masters. Then what he says about not dragging tourism sector into politics will make sense. Wasn't he the same person who said all the answers to the economic woes faced by Maldives is in Gangster Yameen's manifesto. A very vague undetailed manifesto i might add.

  13. oh, and...

  14. This is the right thing to do. They have removed democracy from the people - look in the mirror PPM, GASIM & Judges = there lies the problem!!
    I will strike and so will all my colleagues for freedom, my human rights and MY RIGHT TO VOTE!

    Tourism will bounce back as soon as we have had a fair election - IT ALWAYS DOES!!

  15. Would Mr. Ben Plewright be the Minister of Islamic Affairs of Aneh Dhivehiraaje?

    I wish the Sheikh all the best

  16. @ Shahid

    Way to go bro!

    Will teach Qasim and Champa Uchu a good lesson: Stay out of politics and run the 20 resorts they own. Bet they will feel the heat now.

  17. @Shafeea:

    Whoah, whoah, whoah!

    I do not for a second condone or support the tactics employed by Qasim or his lackeys. I was merely pointing out the dilemmas inherent in this particular counter-tactic.

    Nasheed is a local politician. He has a better chance than most of assuming the presidency this year through the ballot. He must ask himself what sort of a country he wishes to rule. A strike in resorts means service interruption. This means guests who paid hefty fees will face annoyances because of local politics. That means those guests might fear a repeat of that incident in the future. That means loss of confidence in the services we provide. Which may damage the only industry that we can depend on for much-needed forex.

    I understand the gravity of the situation we face. Battle lines have been drawn with the majority of the Supreme Court bench being the weapon of choice for those who don't want Nasheed to get elected. The whole series of litigation smells of desperation and dirty underhandedness. One side has already sacrificed the credibility and reputation of the main pillar of any democracy - the judiciary. I just do not, cannot and will not believe that sacrificing the foundation of our economy is the best way to retaliate.

    Sometimes the ends just don't justify the means. Shafeea you are free to disagree with me all you like. Just don't get caught up in your emotions and call me a regime-sympathizer or dictatorship-lover or any label handy when all I did was take a principled stand on an issue I have an opinion about. Oh and by the way I do not like Nasheed but I am also part of the group who feels he is the lesser of evils given the current situation. So he has my support but I will never endorse this tactic.

  18. Dear Maldivians, Don't KILL the Golden GOOSE! What RUBBISH is this!

    Imagine for a moment, Mr.Nasheed is the NEXT President of the Maldives and how did he achieve it - By encouraging fellow, innocent Maldivians to STRIKE and destroy the Maldivian Economy, God's gift of a wonderful Tourism business model.

    Do you think he can ever STOP the same Maldivians NOT to Strike As and when a problem arises in the future. UNLESS, MDP believes that the entire MALDIVES will ETERNALLY BE MDP followers!!

    Absolutely Bizzare and total CULT following!

    Shocking indeed! I really believe that we Maldivians have MORE sense and intelligence than just following ENMASSE like this.


    The biggest NEXT BLUNDER that ex-President Nasheed has committed.

  19. I am a Maldivian and i am among 55% of the voters who had said no to Naaheed.

    I do not want to vote on 28th until the accusation is made clear for all of.

    We believe that Nasheed had rigged the votes and the guy would have got only 65,000 votes and 30,000 votes must have been rigged.

  20. I don't think local strikes on resorts is the way to go. Keep local politics among the locals. If push comes to shove and elections get annulled altogether, then international organisations such as the UN, Commonwealth, EU etc can be lobbied for sanctions. Sanctions must be targeted - travel bans and foreign asset freeze of those involved, that should unravel the cabal of usurpers.

    Nasheed must think twice about his tactics. Boisterous and loud mouthed nit wits are the favoured politicians, a testament towards the maturity (or lack of) of the population to democratic norms. The majority of support even for MDP is not because of forward thinking policy or ideals such as people power etc, it is personality politics, my guy vs your guy. Strikes in the workplace, whether resorts or elsewhere is dangerous with such a fickle and immature electorate, they would not know when it is prudent to stop.

    It would open up a new arena which will definitely be used by future oppositions. Nobody really wants that.

    @tsk tsk
    "I am also part of the group who feels he is the lesser of evils given the current situation." Really? Care to elaborate on that? Last I checked the parties and their policies (PPM and MDP) have remained largely unchanged.

  21. Dear Samaritan & tsk tsk-whatsisname,

    Maybe you guys are sitting in the party earned offices or jobs with your familly and friends,,,going for night rides with girls/wife and spending the maximum possible of each day with your kids/familly. so to speak about how the people in tourist industry feel about this is very stupid for me.Shut off. go get another life.

    I am a father of 2 kids, who spend last year in Male looking for a job which would help me be with my familly. unfortunately, i applied to the supreme court, various other govt and private sectors.. i did get offers but offers i cannot afford a life in Male with. The supreme court job was offered to a brother of a megistrate who was almost illiterate compared to me. i did make a scene in court after i found out.various other govt jobs went around the same way... now i am working in a resort. far away from the children i so much love.. do you know the atmosphere in a resort? do you know how much rights we have in the labour law? one which was made by the resort owners and business men alike? do you have any idea how much some of us have to pay or go through to go and vote? the common misconception in the community is ....oh yeah ur working in a resort with alcohol and everything around..must be fun.. u seriously think it is fun we are having here???

    do you know that 95% of most resort staff support MDP...??? except for shiyam who forces his staff to vote as he wish.. and gasim who does the same thing..(unfortunately in those resorts also majority was MDP).i have lost a vacation day the last time i went Male', spending almost half day near ballot box and returning the same day evening to work the next day..?? do you know how it feels like for hopes to be crumbled by illegitimate and corrup governemnt and judges???

    I support Nasheed to boycott in the m sure UCHU,GASIM,SHIYAM, these pple will have the biggest loss of their life... everything is fair in war,,.. this my stupid all knowing friends, is called war.

  22. @facts-

    dear fat fact-or

    I am among the proud 95000 who voted for development and balance in the country. I voted proudly Mr. Nasheed.

    so you 55%, who would rather vote for a BAAGHEE, or a uneducated resort Tycoon or The drug selling Yamin; you are the type of the people who will kill your own family. I ask you.. between yamin and Nasheed....who would you choose... heheh but why ask stupid question?? you will vote for Yamin... when and if you have kids, will you give them cocain? or brown sugar??? is that what you want for your community????? but you are toooo smart to try and found out even eh?? too blinded by whatever you have or would have eh??

    How do i know about yamin???? I know cz i am a witness to his underground dont tell me it isnt so

  23. This is the reason why Nasheed fell out of favor with so many people in the first place. I support some policies of MDP and admire Nasheed for some of his qualities. But endangering our economy deliberately by using his political weight is something he ought to reconsider. Yes we all are appalled by the failure of the courts in this country. But an alternative needs to be sought out. One that will not harm the livelihoods of ordinary citizens. The resort tycoons will not suffer as much as they have lots of savings to endure a poor patch. But are we ALL ready for it ?

  24. This is a tragic predicament, a massive dilemma which the resort workers must decide upon for themselves after having searched their own hearts.

    On one hand, I would hate to see the economy threatened and jobs lost.

    But on the other hand history teaches that democratic autonomy is never won without great sacrifice, a sacrifice which will throw any nation into turmoil for at least a little while.

    Still, I dearly hope some other way would become clear. But I FEAR it won't, though I hope I am proven wrong yet again on this one.


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