President obtains 1,500 signatures for independent candidacy, coalition claims “things going to plan”

President Dr Mohamed Waheed has obtained the 1,500 signatures required to register himself as an independent candidate in the upcoming election, his ‘forward with the nation’ coalition has said.

Amidst the possibility of his Gaumee Ithihaad Party (GIP) facing dissolution for not having the 10,000 members required to officially register a political entity in the Maldives, President Waheed this week announced his intention to stand for election as an independent candidate.

The incumbent will stand as an independent alongside his running mate, MP Ahmed Thasmeen Ali – leader of the government aligned Dhivehi Rayithunge Party (DRP).

Candidates unaffiliated with a political party are required to submit signatures of at least 1,500 supporters with their official application to stand in the upcoming presidential election, according to local media.

In order to meet this total, President Waheed held a signing ceremony at the presidential residence of Hilaaleege in Male’ on Wednesday (July 17) evening.

Minivan News observed an estimated 200 people present at the ceremony by around 10:00pm, where the president’s family members and news reporters were seen mingling with supporters.  The signing event concluded at midnight.

In a statement released Thursday ( July 18 ), the ‘Forward with the nation coalition’ claimed it had seen an “overwhelming response” from the public to sign the petition backing President Waheed’s candidacy, with over 500 people attending the ceremony during the course of Wednesday evening.

“While we have already exceeded the legal minimum we will continue to sign up supporters in the coming days,” the statement said.

Minivan News understands that President Waheed also conducted a door to door campaign to obtain signatures for his candidacy, with the coalition anticipating similar event will continue into next week.  An exact number of signatories was not received at time of press.

President’s Waheed’s coalition until last week consisted of several government-aligned parties; including the religious conservative Adhaalath Party (AP), the Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP), the DRP and his own GIP.

However, the DQP yesterday announced it would be following the AP in leaving the president’s coalition to back the campaign of resort tycoon and Jumhoree Party (JP) MP Gasim Ibrahim instead.

DRP Parliamentary Group Leader MP Dr Abdulla Mausoom has said the defection of both the AP and the DQP from the ‘Forward with the nation coalition’ “did not change the game at all” in terms of its strategy to secure the election during a second round of voting.

A second round will be held between the top two candidates during polls scheduled for September 7 should either fail to secure at least 51 percent of the vote.

“We know that the 2013 election will require a second round of voting and that all candidates wish to be in the grand final. We are optimistic that we will be in this final,” he said.

Mausoom has previously claimed that the DRP – both as an individual party, and later as members of President Waheed’s coalition – remained the main alternative viewpoint for voters disenfranchised by the “polarised views” of the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) or the government-aligned Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM).

Dr Mausoom added that even with the defection of the Adhaalath and the DQP, President Waheed still presented a coalition of people rather than individual parties, with more “political figures” expected to come out and back him before voting commences later this year.

He therefore said the coalition was confident it would still appeal to voters as alternative to MDP candidate former President Mohamed Nashhed and the PPM, led by former autocratic President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.

The MDP and PPM presently represent the country’s two largest parties in terms of parliamentary representation.

While anticipating “moments” in the run up to the presidential election where political figures – either out of financial or ideological reasons – would switch to rival candidates and parties, Mausoom said it would ultimately be the general public who decided on the next president. He argued that Dr Waheed’s record as president following last year’s controversial transfer of power would therefore be recognised by voters during polling.

“President Waheed has done a wonderful job of keeping the government together and shown what a great leader he is,” Dr Mausoom said. “Things are going to plan and we are confident during the second round [of voting] that the people will opt for [the coalition].”

However, the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) today rejected claims that the ‘Forward with the nation’ coalition would receive sufficient support to see President Waheed elected to office.

MDP MP and Spokesperson claimed that the majority of voters would opt to reject President Waheed as a candidate owing to the controversial transfer of power that brought him to power and the conduct of his coalition government since.  The MDP has continued to allege that former President Nasheed’s government was ended prematurely by a “coup d’eat” on February 7, 2012 following a mutiny by sections of the police and military.

“The bottom line is people will vote overwhelmingly against the coup. It is regrettable [President Waheed] is still hanging on,” he said. “Pretender Waheed has already cost the state upwards of a billion US dollars since the coup.”

Meanwhile, the PPM announced this week that no formal decision had yet been taken on whether to retract its support for the coalition government, despite growing “complaints” from its members over the conduct of President Waheed.

MP Ahmed Nihan today told Minivan News that both the PPM’s senior leadership and ordinary members held significant “concerns” over the conduct of President Waheed in the build up to this year’s presidential election, with the party accusing the incumbent and his supporters of unfair campaigning.

The PPM is the largest party in terms of MP numbers presently serving within the coalition government backing President Waheed.


11 thoughts on “President obtains 1,500 signatures for independent candidacy, coalition claims “things going to plan””

  1. “President Waheed has done a wonderful job of keeping the government together and shown what a great leader he is,” Dr Mausoom said

    What's wonderful about a politician is that you can never get a truthful honest answer out of them. That quote is a prime example of that.

    We can show so many examples of why Waheed was never a great leader and will never be a great leader. Just for starters:

    (1) Begging Saudi Arabia for US$300 million, effectively to plug a gaping hole in a budget that has ballooned out of control.

    (2) Diplomatic relations with India.

    (3) The calamitous state of the Judiciary.

    (4) Abandoned by his own coalition partners.

    The list goes on. People like Dr Mausoom have no credibility, whatsoever.

  2. Independent, I'm p***ing myself laughing at this one.

    You're a puppet for the rich and corrupt, not one independent thought or idea has entered Waheed's head in the last 18 months.

  3. They have got the gangs of Male' signed up . Obviously it's going according to plan

  4. We have discovered Waheed's plans.

    We know that he is in contact with foreign mercenaries, using illegal immigrants as 'voters'.

    More will be leaked soon.

    Waheed, you will pay in blood and agony for this declaration of war against all Maldivians.

  5. Dr. Mausoom

    Stop talking nonsense or the public will finally know who you are. Eithe continue accepting the free salary, or go back and join your x-hotel school bunch of failed instructors jumping from resort to resort pretending to know a lot but yet failures in every aspect in life.

    The government educated people like you to bring a better change in the society but now we realize what a waste.

    A good advice, don't burn your fingers..think twice!

  6. Dr. Waheed is one of the best candidate we have this time. But i doubt that he can give a good flight among over candidate.

    But this does not mean that he does not have the capacity . The main issue is that this country is very politically polarized. Even a monkey is been chased by the MDP, then MDP members will vote to the monkey and will never give a serious thought about the credibility of the monkey.

    This is how much our society is been polarized today.

  7. Polarised society ?
    Yeah ... And where does it come from, "Kuribee" ?
    Till 2000 something, we were indeed uni-fied, not uni-ted though. Under a dictatorship which tortured and murdered to shut you up.
    When democracy was finally on its way, some different groups had common interests : remove Anni :
    - the rich resort owners who don't want to pay income tax
    - the dicktator who wanted to take back his power seat
    - the Islamists, who feared to be qualified as a bunch of weirdos. They are.
    - the SO and rogues, the kind of who never succeeds to function in a democracy.
    The common name for them is the baagees.
    One and half year, the only thing they have proven : none of them is capable to manage the country. In contrary, left is a bankrupted nation, a society where black magic revives, a religion which is prostituted and a government which fails in all but robbing the coffers.

  8. Nasheed is the man who had robbed this country and drag the country 20 yea back ward.

    Nasheed is a threat to the democracy and he put a democratic hat on his head and drove the country like a dictator.

    Resorts owners and other business people are paying taxes and those tax payers money were wasted by Nasheed and had given to his close buddies.

    GMR deal, Dhiaraagu, MWSC and Thilafushi projects are classic example of how Nasheed had robbed this country.

    Addu convention centre, Nasheed spent millions and many of them without any proper records. If ACC does any audit , people like (Ibrahim Mohamed) who might have got few millions will get exposed.

    Resort owners and other business people who had not paid taxes are Nasheed relatives .

    Don't talk bull s**t and we know that Nasheed is not a leader and he is a cult and people who had got huge financial benefits during Nasheed regime are trek people only behind the guy only.

  9. Is waheed a puppet or a leader? A follower may be content to say I think therefore I am. But a leader will also say I fight therefore I am, I Hurt therefore I am. The I of a true leader is not the dualist cartesian ego, but the I of the leader is the pain and the struggle of the people.

    True love is struggle. It is a sharing in the suffering of the people, solidarity of the heart, mind and soul.

    Our identity is determined by what we fight for, and by what we hurt for, the essence of our being is the nature of our pain and desire. If we don't fight and hurt for something, we do not have a true self, as a true self is realised in a relation of caring. I do not see the self in waheed. Though I believe he is intelligent, no fight seems to come from within himself, which makes he feel he is a puppet

  10. hey kuribee, we know your plan.

    The whitey husband of fidhadh we interrogated spilled the beans on you guys.


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