The day we have all been waiting for since that fateful day of 7th February 2012 has come and gone. The first round of voting is over and the preliminary results announced, which did not end as many predicted it would, but nevertheless turned out to be a huge victory for MDP and the crusaders of democracy and people’s rights. The first round of elections yielded the following results.
- Candidate 1, Mr. Gasim Ibrahim [Jumhooree Party]: 50,422 votes (24.07%)
- Candidate 2, Dr. Mohamed Waheed Hassan [Incumbent President, Individual]: 10,570 votes (5.13%)
- Candidate 3, Mr. Abdulla Yameen [Progressive Party of Maldives]: 53,099 (25.35%)
- Candidate 4, Mr. Mohamed Nasheed [Maldivian Democratic Party]: 95,244 (45.45%)
While we await for the second round of voting which is to take place on September 28th which would be a run-off between Mr. Mohamed Nasheed, the first democratically elected President of Maldives who stepped down on February 7 of 2012 in a coup instigated by the rest of the candidates that contested in the elections; and Mr. Abdulla Yameen from the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) whose leader is the autocratic leader of the 30 year regime, campaigning has already begun in earnest by supporters of Nasheed in securing the 10,000+ votes which would mean a win for him in the second round.
The most amazing revelation after voting was how far Mohamed Nasheed has come in winning the love of his countrymen. For a man who received a mere 44,293 votes (24.91%) in the first round of elections in 2008, he has managed to double the amount of votes he received with an extra thousand or so tossed in and I couldn’t be more thankful for the 90,000+ voters who have decided that they do not want any of the coup instigators to become an elected President in this country. The message that they have given the rest of the candidates is pretty clear. If you want to be elected, do as Nasheed does. Campaign and win the hearts and the votes of the people. I couldn’t be more proud of everyone who went out and voted and though there are still certain discrepancies for which the Elections Commission needs to be answerable for, I think the elections went pretty much smoothly.
While Gasim Ibrahim with the religious fanatics at his back managed to secure the third place in the elections, Yameen seems to have escaped with a very narrow margin and attained the 2nd place, definitely a major blow for PPM though they seem to be big on advertising the fact that the votes received for all the other candidates belong to them. I fail to see the logic behind their statement as they didn’t participate in the election as a coalition. And how on Earth do separate candidates come out from a coalition in the first place? My mind may not be as advanced as that of the likes of Yameen and his party members, but if we apply Yameen’s logic, than the incumbent President Dr. Waheed Hassan is the clear winner of this election with a hopping 198,765 votes against him and Mr. Gasim Ibrahim his contender for the run-off with a total of 158,913 votes against him. And let us not forget the pitiful number of votes Dr. Waheed received, a world record for an incumbent President, the message is very loud and clear; you reap what you sow. You raped the votes of the citizens by aligning yourself with the coup instigators and in my opinion the bulk of the votes he received belongs to DRP and Thasmeen.
While MDP campaigned for “EhBurun” which means taking the prize home in the first round itself with no need of a second round, the narrow margins by which he won in Male’ City itself seems to be one of the reasons why he didn’t manage to secure the seat of Presidency from the 1st round itself. There are reasons for this and in my opinion not enough concentrated campaigning efforts were focused in regions of Male’. For instance, my household which falls under Medhu Henveiru didn’t receive even a phone call from Nasheed’s campaign team, nor warranted for a visit in his D2D ventures and none of us received the letter that he signed and was delivered to most households. Of course for this household, none of the other candidates are an option since February 7th, but what about those who believe that a constitutional transfer of power happened that day and do not see anything much amiss about what happened. We are all different in the way we take in and process information which accounts for the differences of opinion that arises in almost everything in life. I myself received calls from Gasim to both my numbers, and later on even that creepy recorded message which asked me to press “8” if we wanted to opt out of receiving further messages. If I wasn’t already convinced Nasheed was the man, I certainly would have logically reached the conclusion that I would vote for the candidate who gave a damn enough for at least his campaign center to place a call and see whether I would vote for him. Simple psychology.
Unlike Yameen who thinks that it is the 95,000+ voters problem that they didn’t vote for him, which I think is evidence enough how unfit a candidate he is for the position of the President. Asking for votes is what you do when you campaign. You convince the masses to vote for you through the policies you would implement and the changes you would bring to the country for the betterment of the populace in the hopes that they think you are the best candidate and vote for you. If Yameen doesn’t seem to get that, I think he would do better off in staying at the Parliament by buying off the votes of a more concentrated number of people until someone gathers enough evidence against the nefarious crimes he has committed against the people of this country and send him off to prison for a long, long time.
If Yameen thinks that the 60,992 votes received for both Gasim and Waheed would automatically fall into his lap, he is sadly mistaken. Most people who voted for Gasim and Waheed did so because they didn’t want to vote for either Nasheed or Yameen for whatever reasons. For those certain groups of people who seem to think Nasheed represents the messiah of Christianity himself and suddenly seem to find that Yameen represents everything pure and Islamic, well, think again. A man who can’t bring himself to properly talk to people because he thinks he is better off than the common man, well that certainly explains a lot about him. If you want to turn into a hypocrite who goes against your conscience and vote for the man who represents torture and autocracy at its best, be my guest and vote for Yameen. But if you want what is best for this country and its people, to vote for the man who understands the common man and where he comes from, well the choice is pretty clear in my opinion. Nasheed is the man to do that and steer this country forward. No two questions about it. Lesser evil? Definitely Nasheed.
The task ahead of us is a humongous one. We are once again facing off against the religious “fanatics” who seem to want us to think they are the saviors of Islam when in reality they are whoring away religion to the highest bidder. We are going against the 30 year old dictatorship, the face of Maumoon represented by his half brother. This is the fight between democracy and dictatorship. This is the time to cast your vote and make it count! This is the time to say yes to reforming the judiciary and to say no to keeping people like Ali Hameed and Abdulla Mohamed on as Judges which paves the way for sexual harassers like Mr. Mohamed Fahmy Hassan to sit in high positions. This is the time to say you want health care benefits for your entire family, that you want single mothers and your parents to not be left destitute when it counts. This is the time to give the proverbial finger to the “baaghees” i.e. the coup perpetrators and drive home the message that we, the majority of Maldivians do not want the armed forces to change the government but the ballot boxes to do so. This is the time people. So stand up to the task and do your bit.
In Sha Allah we can. And In Sha Allah we will. Forward and onward we move. In MDP slang? Kuriah Kuriah, Baarah Kuriah!