President Waheed invites presidential candidates to discuss election issues

President Dr Mohamed Waheed has invited the three presidential candidates for a meeting at the President’s Office to “discuss important issues regarding the presidential election.”

All three candidates have reportedly accepted the invitation for the meeting due to take place at 11:30am on Wednesday (November 6).

The President’s Office has informed local media that discussions will focus on “a political solution” for interim arrangements in the absence of a president-elect at the end of the current presidential term on November 11.

Last month, parliament approved a proposal by the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) for the Speaker of Parliament to assume the presidency if there is no president-elect by midnight on November 10.

The resolution was proposed in response to a letter to Speaker Abdulla Shahid from President Waheed requesting parliament “to take initiative in finding a solution to any legal issues that will arise if a new president is not elected by the end of the current term.”

As a possible second round of the presidential election has been scheduled by the Elections Commission (EC) for November 16, President Waheed’s letter (Dhivehi) noted that “there is a possibility there might not be a president elected in accordance with article 111 of the constitution.”

While President Waheed has insisted that he does not wish to “stay in this position even a day beyond November 11,” the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) candidate Abdulla Yameen and Jumhooree Party (JP) candidate Gasim Ibrahim have publicly appealed for the president to remain in office until the presidential election could be concluded.

PPM presidential candidate Abdulla Yameen reportedly said last month that it would be “irresponsible” for President Waheed to resign before a new president was elected.

The PPM parliamentary group leader called on Waheed to remain in the post and cease making statements about resigning.

Gasim Ibrahim meanwhile recently suggested that handing power over to the military would be preferable, claiming that the EC was biased in favour of the MDP and wanted Speaker Shahid – who joined the MDP in April – to assume the presidency.

“Is it better for a man who is selected to assume the presidency? Or the military? What is the difference? On one side they are stealing [the presidency] and doing things outside the law. Isn’t it better that our military takes over the country to save the country and maintain peace?” the business tycoon told the press last week.

The presidential election on September 7 was annulled by the Supreme Court after Gasim contested the results alleging widespread electoral fraud while the revote scheduled for October 19 was obstructed by the police after the JP and PPM refused to approve the voter registry.

Election or Dhoonidhoo

Former President Mohamed Nasheed meanwhile told reporters yesterday that he would attend the meeting but questioned President Waheed’s sincerity.

“After instructing [the police] to stop the election, preventing the election from taking place, and facilitating the unraveling of a legitimate state so that he could remain in the presidency without an election, he has said he wants to talk to us for a superficial show to hoodwink the international community,” the MDP presidential candidate said.

The United Nations, the Commonwealth, the European Union and several foreign governments including the United States, the United Kingdom and India have all expressed concern with the election delays and urged expedition of the polls.

Special Envoy of the Commonwealth Secretary General, Sir Don McKinnon, visited President Waheed yesterday and was “assured that the government would provide any assistance and support required by the Elections Commission.”

Meanwhile, speaking at a campaign event in Male’ last night, Nasheed said the consequences of not having an election would be “unimaginable.”

“Today we are saying we can’t buy oil because there is no money. Tomorrow we will hear there is no one willing to sell us oil even if we have the money,” he said, adding that the country would face severe difficulties in securing imports.

On tomorrow’s meeting, Nasheed said he was willing to have a “friendly” discussion even with a person who wanted him dead, adding that his former vice president should know that he could not “deceive” either the Maldivian people or the international community.

Nasheed said he would tell Waheed to resign before midnight on November 10. “I have nothing else to talk to you about,” he said.

Speaker Shahid would then assume the presidency and facilitate an election within a week, Nasheed said.

“I do not wish to remain a free man if we cannot vote on the 9th. Staying home to sleep is not something I’ve ever been able to do. I will definitely not do that on the 9th, I will be in Dhoonidhoo jail,” he said.


7 thoughts on “President Waheed invites presidential candidates to discuss election issues”

  1. Hmmm ...interesting rhetoric from Mr Gasim - "is it better for a man who has been selected for the presidency .. or the military.. what's the difference?" Add to this gem the comments ref "them .. stealing the presidency... and ..doing things outside the law".

    Oh goody,after a lot of incredulous, muffled throat clearing (ahem) lots of (simple) responses come to mind. One is "duh duh and more duh". The other " talk about the proverbial pot and kettle" and the other "shall we try and go back to school?".Finally, "oh dear, you are at least openly ignorant and twisted..and there's a strange honesty about that. Pat pat."

    As for Mr Waheed, well well, if all this posturing around OUR election is to help you drag yourself up the international dinner party list, where you are lining up rather nicely near the bottom,just one step away from that thug from Zim- how about an apology - first for your condescending comments in the name of your country to the eminent Navi Pillay? Your criticism of her " Poor research" is not only totally insulting and incorrect, its ironic, coming from UN wannabe you. Then try apologizing to us as you throw in the presidential towel in a week (we hope, unless those clutching onto that towel want to go all the way down the chute with you, tell them they are so very welcome to do so).

    Makes one want to add : "Mr Waheed , playing to 2 houses ain't fun - particularly as you aren't doing it very well.There is only so much rejection one bad thespian can take.Slap slap."

    The whole plot smacks of a bad remake of "Julius Caesar " - or maybe its more like "Carry on Coconuts".Truth, sadly, has always been stranger than fiction, and no better example of this than the current see-saw situation in the Maldives. Hope the play-acting at least leads to a solid round of elections (we live in hope) and yet more elections, if need be.

    Sometimes, by walking the walk, one unwittingly gets there...."Democracy for Dummies".. any takers? Mr Gasim (ahem) , et al?

  2. PPM is running out of excuses, even their staunchest supporters will in their private thoughts wonder about the losing strategy their leadership has adopted.

    Time is on the side of morality, justice and the will of the people. This fight is for MDP to lose, if they blink. Much like in a game of poker, it is sometimes a winning strategy to do nothing if you have a winning hand. In politics, the support of the people is a winning hand and MDP should allow their opponents to dig themselves deeper.

    About the talks tomorrow, what is there to negotiate about? Whether the people deserve a free and fair election? How much should we compromise? And on what authority? Universal suffrage is the ultimate adjudicator.

    The strategy of weakening MDP through attrition via the judiciary and the security forces will buy some time, but will expose the PPM for what they are to even more voters.

  3. Yes, it is very hard to please the dictator and the international community at the same time.

    I wonder what it is that Gayoom has over Waheed that he has to go through this charade. Blackmail? I hear Gayoom and his cronies are good at that, as most power hungry thugs are.

    Hmmm.Death threats, secret, tell all videos, or real evidence that he helped the coup...

    What I do know is that Waheed would like to get out of the bind he is in. To get a job in the international arena, he needs to at least pretend to care about democracy. What is making him act this way?

    Well, if all fails, I recommend a job in the Mafia or a similar outfit. I am sure he has learnt enough about double crossing and saying one thing and meaning the total opposite, that he is well equipped to work in a shady outfit of some sort. However, even that requires some brains, and it would appear that whatever he had in that department has been exhausted in getting that piece of paper from Stanford.

    I personally don't think the elctions are going to happen. Waheed has the power to make it happen,but he is not strong enough to make it happen for us.That is why he was placed there after the coup.

    The people will have to do it for themselves. God help the Maldives.

  4. Waste of time! Waheed has no political weight nor public support to get the consensus of these candidates!

  5. (1) Nasheed is right. This is an attempt by Waheed to be "seen" to be doing something.

    (2) If he wants the opinions of the three men he's inviting with regard to his own position on 11th November, I think they've all made their positions quite clear. Yameen and Gasim brought him to power illegally and they clearly want this to drag on. Can we forget the Villa Navy, i.e. Villa Boats that landed troops in Male on 7th February?

    (3) If the election is derailed on the 9th, prepare not just to run out of oil, but to run out of pretty much everything. Of course, running out of oil, will just shut the whole country down anyway, since we are 100% dependent on imported oil for just about everything.

    The regime will try to cling on, by clawing away at the last coppers left in the national reserves! That will be dwindling pretty fast, since there's probably just about enough to cover a month's imports!

    (4) Waheed has taken the country to an unmitigated disaster in more ways than one!

  6. The writing is on the wall clearly. An empty treasury, reserves exhausted and
    Rufiya being printed as and when required; Mr Burumaa's impossible dream of becoming a president while he is not even suitable to sit in anywhere with his level of education and Waheed's greed which was exploited to maximum by the cunning old fox Maumoon: all put together have effectively ruined the lively hood of Maldivians. What more harm are you planning Mr. Waheed?


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