President Dr Mohamed Waheed last night told state broadcaster Television Maldives (TVM) that a vice-president should not be treated like a “spare part”.
Speaking in the second of a series of TVM interviews with next month’s presidential candidates, the incumbent president stated his belief that the vice president ought to have more responsibility.
“I believe that changes are needed. A vice president should not be a spare part that replaces the president if he resigns or passes away. The people choose a vice president after careful consideration. They vote for two people, the president and the vice president, on the same ticket,” President Waheed said.
Waheed assumed office on February 7, 2012, after being elevated from his position as vice-president to Mohamed Nasheed. President Nasheed resigned amidst chaotic scenes as police mutinied following weeks of anti-government agitation.
Waheed told his interviewer, Leeza Laurella, that Nasheed had reneged on a prior agreement to hand the vice-president powers over foreign policy – giving preference to fellow Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) members.
Soon after Waheed assumed the presidency, his frustration with his previous role was described by his then-special advisor Dr Hassan Saeed in a leaked audio recording.
“There was no major role for President Waheed in the previous government. Very many days [spent] bored in the office… When an educated man like him whiles the day away being like this, going on the Internet… really it is sad. This is how Waheed was,” said Dr Saeed.
Prior to his political career, Dr Waheed was notable for being the first Maldivian to gain a doctorate as well as being the first person to appear on Maldivian Television, anchoring TVM’s first broadcast in 1978.
After a short period as a member of the People’s Majlis, Waheed spent a number of years working for UNICEF, eventually becoming Deputy Regional Director for South Asia.
Role in February 7
Responding to the repeated accusations that he did not fulfil his responsibilities in supporting President Nasheed during the February 2012 crisis, Waheed told his interviewer that Nasheed had not asked for his counsel.
“President Nasheed did not call me. If he wanted to talk to me, he could have asked the SPG (Special Protection Group), the same group that protects us both. He could have handed me the phone through them, could he not?”
Maintaining that the events of February 7 marked the final stages of a conspiracy in which Waheed was complicit, the MDP have repeatedly accused Waheed of failing to fulfill his duties as second in command.
Mentioning a late night meeting with anti-Nasheed figures just days before the transfer of power, Waheed told TVM that Nasheed had been informed of the meeting and all normal procedures followed.
MDP MP Mariya Didi manwhile published a report in June 2012 arguing that Waheed’s failure to fully discuss this meeting with the rest of the cabinet represented a violation of his responsibilities as the vice-president.
Waheed had been open on a number of previous occasions regarding his marginalisation in the decision making process, in 2010 describing the Nasheed administration as a “one man show”.
Nasheed will stand against Waheed in September’s poll, having chosen Dr Musthafa Luthfy as his running mate. When making the announcement, the MDP stipulated that Luthfy would call an election immediately should Nasheed be “killed or incapacitated” rather than assuming the presidency himself.
Waheed yesterday explained that he had chosen his current running-mate, Dhivehi Rayithunge Party (DRP) leader Thasmeen Ali as he is “well-mannered and keeps his word”.
During the interview he also denied that he had described the Adhaalath Party as containing extremist elements – comments which prompted the religious party to leave Waheed’s ‘forward with the nation’ coalition in June, later allying with the Jumhoree Party (JP).
Yesterday’s interview, the second in a series featuring all the presidential hopefuls, followed Friday’s combative encounter with Jumhoree Coalition candidate Ibrahim Gasim.
Following Gasim’s discussion with Laurella, JP deputy leader Ilham Ahmed told local media that the JP would be considering a boycott of the station. Ilham argued that, contrary to the shows title – with ‘siyaasath’ meaning ‘policy’ – the presenter asked Gasim a series of personal questions in 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,” he explained to reporters from Haveeru. “We have seen TVM going after Gasim.”
Ilham also insisted that the show had made repeated attempts to make Gasim appear “odd”.
The Maldives Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) defended its station, telling local media that Gasim’s TVM interview was conducted within its editorial policy.
It was announced in June that TVM would be scheduling a presidential debate featuring all four candidates for September 1.
15 thoughts on “Vice President should not be a “spare part”: Waheed”
The Foreign Minister at the time was Dr Shaheed representing the Dhivehi Qaumy Party, not the MDP.
You are Thasmeen's spare part.
Who is Aishath Shehenaz Adam??
We all know she was Thasmeen's first girl friend. She is a cousin of Thasmeen, as well.
Being the first PhD holder does not mean, the guy is not as slow as a snail.
I am sometimes ashamed about the way Waheed behaves with his belt on his diaphragm. he looks pathetic, sometimes.
Waheed, educated??? I have grave doubts about his PhD certificate. At that time there was no Accredited Board. Nobody was there to check whether he bought the certificate or not. Only Maumoon would sign the photocopy of the certificate.
Could somebody check it out if the guy is in the list of University graduates. I have grave doubts.
Waheed should have a presidential debate with Anni.
I agree with Mohaammaidi. Yeah, even Ali Mahir has a series of degrees. But he was (sadly) diagnosed with Schizophrenia.
PhD means Permanent Head Damage.
And what importance does it have to be the first PhD holder. The first might be the first PhD holder with schizophrenia.
Correct. Vice president should not be a spare part. Vice president has to be a replacement part. kekkekek
Perhaps Vice President should be the other half ?
What type of a name is Laurella? Change it to to something Islamic like Gamarunnisaa.
Education is computing different reality based on what you learn from past experience and testing new things based on evident. You need good hardware that can compute well. The good hardware means ability to sense everything from deep inside the space through the bottom of ocean and deep inside the core of earth. See thing with different angles trough imagination, feel things differently. When you talk about Maldivian they lack good hardware and it is impossible for Maldivian to be educated. Maldivian live in the past they don’t know how to conceive future and they are unable to live in the present. It is a sad story and no hope unless someone removes the cocoon of the past they live. May be the only hope is anni. Let’s vote him.
Waheed may have appeared to be the lesser of the evils in 2008 when chosen to run on the ticket with Anni, but when will Waheed accept that ppl didn't vote for him (except his wife and a dozen other)? Ppl voted for Anni! Waheed just happened to be on the ticket, because some people thought an educated man, with experience working in the UN was better than the thugs and greatly indebted corrupt tycoons who were the other presidential candidates. Waheed, you have made mistakes, and so have a lot of other ppl, please move on with your life, out of politics. Maldivians are forgiving ppl, there is no need to try to save any dignity. That never works. While I'm at it, even after a year in the presidential seat, you haven't a clue what it means to be Dhivehi. Please cut your losses and get out.
Leeza needs to calm down. Leeza, you're not interrogating, its an interview! Someone give the girl some anxiety meds, her BP seems to be on the rise. Its the interviewee who needs to get emotional and enthusiastic. YOU ask the provocative questions, and not in a manner of giving the other the third degree. Who is producing this programme? Producer dial tone down. Excitement is good, this is over-kill.
Liza is wonderful; provocation is needed to see the true faces of these ignorant people trying to mislead people. Wonderful journalism, keep up , Qasim was very uneasy to answer the questions and was taking everything personally and was expecting to be treated by someone from his staff. A person like Qasim who came from rajje there and illiterate and trying to build a legacy as a respected person was not in any capacity to be criticized. He was much uneasy to talk about his critics, he thought it was negative for his campaign but Qasim should know people are not voting for him so he can achieve his ambition. He should try to polish his public image, It was like he was irritated by the fact that he was incompetent and was trying to blame others to hide his true nature
Great stuff, Leeza. Smoke them out. Bunch of rotters.
Is Leeza daughter of Dr.Mariyam Zulfa? (Minister of Tourism).Would somebody tell me, please.
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