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Who is to blame for this nationwide malady …?

The total disregard for the rule of law by the dictatorial regime of President Nasheed of the Maldives, the injustices meted out daily against Maldivian citizens, undemocratic overturning of independent constitutional commissions, unilateral sale of national assets to foreigners and an economic recession sum up the state of affairs in the Other Maldives. Who is to blame? We, as Maldivians have the moral obligation to trace the hideous steps taken by a few key people in the months preceding the presidential elections 2008, and pin down, and also pen in black and white, who should take the blame for our current malady and in what proportions.

Over 80 percent of the total blame for this depressing state of affairs of our beloved country lie squarely on the shoulders of Dr Hassan Saeed (Attorney General, November 2003-August 5th 2007). His personal vicious vendetta against former President Gayoom paved the road for incumbent despot Nasheed to win the second round of last year’s presidential elections. The following intro gives an insight into how Hassan Saeed, during his short-lived term as Attorney General, deviously maneuvered to oust Gayoom.
… Political backstabbing and murder was Hassan Saeed’s repayment to the leader who gave him his rare opportunity for political leadership in a short span of time. Knowing nothing about his country of birth and basically illiterate in Dhivehi language, within months of his return to Male’ with his doctorate, Hassan Saeed nabbed the post of Attorney General by toadying up to his erstwhile mentor and Gayoom ally, Dr. Mohamed Zahir Hussain.

From the early days of his Cabinet portfolio, Hassan Saeed gained a reputation amongst civil servants as a fish out of water amongst other experienced Cabinet members who had knowledge of national needs and national goals or who had excellent qualifications or who had both! Saeed, a beginner in government service, made major mistakes as he struggled with his new post. Close friends reported how impressed he was with President Gayoom’s charismatic leadership, his wisdom and tolerance. The same friends later reported that Saeed, harboring ambitions of the presidency, was so overwhelmed by Gayoom that he felt threatened by the man. Disillusioned, Saeed schemed to overthrow Gayoom. For this, Saeed knew he had to move closer to Gayoom first. He chose the gullible Dr Shaheed as a possible middleman. Shaheed, a man who stayed afloat in the privileged circle by continuous bragging about his knowledge about everything from coconuts to space rockets, became easily acquainted with Saeed and facilitated the latter’s entry into the close circle of friends of the former president.

Despite frequent visits to the Palace for badminton and high tea, the twosome could not win the respect they yearned for from their colleagues and the public.

Hassan Saeed saw his golden opportunity when President Gayoom shared with his Cabinet, the need for greater democratization and his wish to introduce multi-party politics to the fast growing Maldivian economy. Saeed’s predecessor and arch rival Dr Munavvar had earlier vehemently opposed Gayoom’s vision for multi-party democracy. Scooping the opportune time, Hassan Saeed volunteered to work to implement Gayoom’s vision. His ulterior motive? To weaken Gayoom’s regime from within and without.

Shaheed and Saeed manipulated Gayoom’s entire Reform Agenda to slowly diffuse Gayoom’s strength in the executive. On their advice, Gayoom abruptly removed staunch loyalists from key portfolios and appointed fresh faces to his Cabinet, including Hassan Saeed’s play-boy- friend Mohamed Jameel Ahmed and Mohamed Nasheed. Jameel had barely begun his PhD programme in UK when he was summoned to be Justice Minister. The four-member team worked diligently to further their interests. Nasheed, an independent thinker, could not stomach the Saeed team’s hypocrisy and dictatorial agenda for long. Shaheed, Saeed and Jameel continuously screamed obscenities at the president at close-door meetings of the team but expressed high-flown niceties to President Gayoom when in his presence! The stench of insincerity was too strong for Nasheed. He discarded the newly emerging ‘New Maldives’ with no regrets.

Two key people in the elite Executive obstructed Drs Shaheed and Saeed’s schema to topple Gayoom - Cabinet minister Yameen and President’s Executive Secretary and close confidante Abdulla Shahid. Abdulla Yameen was a brilliant administrator while Abdulla Shahid had the President’s ear. The scheming doctors convinced Gayoom to remove Shahid but could not manipulate him to sack Yameen.

Shaheed, Saeed and Jameel in their heyday created much havoc within the Gayoom administration. Behind the scenes, they lent support to aggressive media attacks on Gayoom and his relatives. The trio engaged in deliberations with the opposition with UK High Commissioner as mediator. Little did they know that the Colombo “talks” was their give-away. By then, Yameen had departed, easing the path for Saeed’s trio.

Once the stage was set with Gayoom rid of staunch supporters in his own Cabinet, the trio handed in their resignation. With major support from the Koli family, their resignation show was orchestrated by Koli Ahmed Maniku’s son-in-law Shaweed. Shaweed is also Jameel’s brother-in-law. The ambitious Hassan Saeed saw himself as the next President. So did his convert Shaheed and play-boy-friend Jameel. Shaweed, the Koli arm of the orchestra backed Saeed with his millions and social clout through marriage.

President Gayoom was shocked. But his Cabinet relieved. The scheming trio had been sabotaging the whole government. The jigsaw pieces fell in place when Hassan Saeed emerged as one of the presidential candidates for the 2008 presidential elections…
A year after the dishonorable trio’s resignation, President Gayoom ratified the new Constitution, which put in place the key building blocks to bring to fruition his vision for a modern democracy for his country.

Five candidates contested the multiparty presidential elections held on 8th October 2008. Incumbent President Gayoom (DRP candidate) with a rich history of political achievements and having guided the nation into the ranks of the developed; Anni Nasheed, with a rich anti-establishment record, mastermind of abusive internet news bulletins screaming with filth at political opponents, leader of numerous public parades at the head of his band of hooligans, and record of loads of abuse at the incumbent president; Hassan Saeed; of the briefest of political careers, no formidable achievements, and loads of baseless lies about the incumbent president; Gasim Ibrahim, with a rich history of money-making and business achievements; compulsory assistance to the poor, and loads of abuse at the incumbent president; Ibrahim Ismail (Iburaa) and Umar Naseer had no major records significant enough to be highlighted here. The people voted. President Gayoom lead with a large majority of 42%, but could not get the required percentage of votes to clinch the presidency. Anni Nasheed (MDP candidate) lagged a very distant second.

The second round of elections between the two lead combatants Gayoom and Anni Nasheed saw Hassan Saeed, humiliated at the polls, pledge instant support to Anni. Gasim followed. So did Iburaa. Their common goal, to defeat President Gayoom. Saeed as usual came up with conspiracy theories hatched by Shaheed. Gasim pumped up the cash to buy Nasheed’s votes. Iburaa snarled on tv channels. Umar Naseer did not budge. He put the people of this beloved country ahead of his zeal to defeat the incumbent president. Today people respect him for the respect he showed for them in the elections. Shady deals were signed between Anni and the other four defeated candidates

With four against one in the second round, the people voted once again. Anni Nasheed won in an election marred by vote rigging and fraud engineered by his cousin by marriage, Elections Commission member Shahid. In less than six months, President Nasheed has violated every democratic tenet in the new constitution. His incompetent government has failed beyond measure. The erstwhile partners have jumped ship. Hassan Saeed resigned as Advisor. Gasim Ibrahim resigned as Home Minister. Shaheed and Jameel hang on to their portfolios by licking Nasheed’s boots.

Gasim, Saeed and their lackeys should bow their heads in shame for the poverty they helped to bring to this nation. They should remain heads down for ridiculing the innocent minds of the majority of this beloved nation; they should remain heads down in shame for trampling on the sincere aspirations of the people and they should remain heads down for the demise of ethical values from this peace-loving nation.

As said before, 80% of the blame falls on the shoulders of Hassan Saeed. If not for Hassan Saeed’s vindictive attitude, this country would not have had to face the comedy of Nasheed’s dim-witted government. His disgusting attitude towards President Gayoom brings to mind the age old Dhivehi proverb, “biting the hand that fed you!” As a Maldivian concerned with the current state of affairs I call upon Hassan Saeed to publicly apologise to the nation for the ill-fated path he forced the country upon.

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