Presidential candidate Gasim has no plans to boycott TVM

Presidential candidate Ibrahim Gasim has no plans to boycott national broadcaster Television Maldives (TVM), despite media reports last week suggesting his Jumhoree Party (JP) was considering such a move.

“Gasim would never do anything like that. We have no plans to boycott TVM,” said JP Policy Secretary Mohamed Ajmal.

Ajmal also confirmed that the JP’s leader would be participating in the upcoming presidential debate, due to air on TVM on September 1. Competing parties had claimed that talk of a boycott was a pre-planned attempt to “dodge” the debate.

JP deputy leader Ilham Ahmed last week told local media that the JP would be considering a boycott of the station after TVM presenter Liza Laurella asked Gasim a series of personal questions in what he interpreted as an attempt to damage his reputation.

“This was done with the intention of demeaning a person under a systematic plan. We don’t believe that this could have been done under press freedom,” Ilham explained to reporters from Haveeru. “We have seen TVM going after Gasim.”

The Maldives Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) defended its station, telling local media that Gasim’s TVM interview was conducted within its editorial policy.

The interview with Gasim was the first of a series of programs titled ‘Siyaasath’ (‘policy’) featuring all four presidential hopefuls in discussion of their respective parties’ policies.

The program concluded last night with the interview of former president and Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) candidate Mohamed Nasheed.

Reflecting on all four interviews, Ajmal alleged that all candidates had not received equal treatment from the host.

“We are not happy with the way Liza handled it. Maybe [that approach] is okay in Europe, but not in the Maldives,” he said.

Ajmal noted in particular Liza’s tendency to point her finger at Gasim during the interview: “It was very disrespectful.”

The ‘siyaasath’ episode featuring current President Dr Mohamed Waheed was singled out as an example of unequal treatment, with Ajmal describing his interview as “very mild” in comparison.

“All interviews should have been equally harsh,” he added.

The JP’s criticism of the show were dismissed as “baseless” by the Progressive Party of Maldives’ (PPM) MP Ahmed Nihan, whose candidate Abdulla Yameen appeared on ‘siyaasath’ last Thursday.

“The PPM believe Liza did quite well… we understand there will be those types of questions in a hard talk program like this,” said Nihan.

His sole criticism of the program concerned a lack of focus, with what he felt was an excessive time spent discussing the past at the expense of debating policies for the future.

Nihan did however acknowledge that this problem had been consistent in all four interviews.

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8 thoughts on “Presidential candidate Gasim has no plans to boycott TVM”

  1. Qasim noted the global economic 'down - town' which he attribute to the collapse of the Lehmen Brothers.

    Qasim was not shy to admit that when he goes to islands he does even know his party focus point is!!!
    To an observer thats a sign of TOTAL CHAOS and a sign of how he would govern, But he was stating the apparent lack of his party's preparation proudly as if taking credit at the expense of his own party's disorganization...!!! hilarious..

    ..and some times quite person with the presenter belittling her..

    Hope Qasim comes to reality of politics. Its not like a construction project, Mr. Qasim.

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  2. Qasim was being personal with Liza and belittling her. He will loose women and young people's vote

    Qasim is not even fit to run his own company

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  3. The interviews were all equally bad, she seemed determined to be confrontational for the sake of being so. Most questions were based on hearsay and no policy related questions were raised despite the name of the program.

    To be fair she made all candidates squirm, every single skeleton in the closet was dragged out and probed. A shame though she never allowed anyone to answer a question fully before interrupting them with another.

    A terrible attempt at "Hard Talk" in my opinion. But she is getting threats now, must have got something right after all.

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