President Waheed this afternoon appointed Tourism Tycoon Mohamed Waheeduddeen (Deen) as his Vice President. Deen, an MDP financier, is a close confidante of ex-President Nasheed who used to host Nasheed every weekend at his private hideaway near Kandooma Resort. Deen was also a Minister for some time in Gayoom's cabinet. He was also part of Dr. Hassan Saeed's New Maldives Movement against Gayoom. Deen's nomination and President Waheed's subsequent statements to media fueled speculation that President Waheed had indeed colluded in "forcing" Nasheed to resign, or if this is a sign of MDP's reconciliation with President Waheed.
President Waheed's statements in announcing Deen's nomination appear to point to his active involvement in the events that led to Nasheed's resignation on February 7th.
Two key statement made by President Waheed were that, 1) in selecting his VP nominee he had looked for someone who did not aspire to be President; and 2) that he would delegate key responsibilities to his VP, because he personally had experienced the dire results of not doing so.
Both statements appear to be targeted at Nasheed, telling him that he had made a mistake in appointing as his VP a person who aspired to be President, and that not involving his VP in governance had contributed to his (Nasheed's) downfall.
In accepting his nomination, Deen affirmed his recognition of Dr. Waheed's government as legitimate. Deen said that he had been arrested at age 16 in 1969 on allegations of being a traitor, and that he had vowed then to show the country that he was not a traitor.
Nasheed, had earlier in the week, accused rich businessmen as having funded an alleged coup to depose him. Deen was not named amongst the top businessmen listed. Deen was at one time Gayoom's Atolls Minister but resigned in 2008 with no publicly stated reasons. At the time he was closely associated with New Maldives Movement led by Gayoom's ex-Attorney General Dr. Hassan Saeed.
Deen's nomination is seen by some as a move that has received Nasheed's endorsement. In his opening statements President Waheed said he was assured of parliamentary assent for Deen's appointment. Deen's financing of MDP in both the 2008 presidential elections and the 2009 parliamentary elections have been recognized by MDP at various functions.
As the week ends, it looks more and more like President Waheed had an active role in the events which led to Nasheed's recognition. From the other side, there is also increasing indication that foreign pressure has forced Nasheed to accept President Waheed's government and settle for a 2013 elections.
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