Endorsing Qasim Ibrahim and call for the opposition to unite to ensure the end of Gayyoom’s dictatorship
Ahmed Moosa, Editor-in-chief, Dhivehi Observer, 20 September 2008
It is with profound sadness and anguish that I leave the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP).
I gave the following statement to Maldives Culture on 19th October 2003, in the wake of my now infamous interview to the BBC a couple of days before that; after which Dictator Gayyoom labelled me a traitor.
'I have already left the country fearing the worst and from London I will do my best to inform the world of this man's brutality. A formal opposition movement will be launched to replace the regime. That is my promise to the people of Maldives.'
The MDP was formed the following month and I joined them immediately and I have been working to bring democratic reform to the Maldives.
My aim has always been two-fold. Firstly, to bring an end to the brutal regime of Dictator Maumoon Abdul Gayoom for I firmly believe that the Maldives can never be a democracy with Gayoom as its leader. Secondly, to ensure that the person who ultimately replaced Gayyoom will be a benevolent leader who subscribes to the democratic principles wholeheartedly and who will ensure that we reach that elusive goal we have all been waiting for – a government that puts the people at its heart.
In my quest, I have come across a few people who have the potential to do just that. But among them, one person stood out above all, and that is Mr. Qasim Ibrahim. I am convinced that Mr. Qasim Ibrahim has the necessary experience and his heart in the right place to serve the people of Maldives. I also believe that he has played a major role in bringing democratic reform, not least his tireless contribution in ensuring that we have the constitutional amendments in place for a proper democratic Presidential election this year.
I met Mr. Qasim first in 1994 whilst I was a student. After my studies, I worked with him on several projects as a consultant. I believe Mr. Qasim is a genuine person who has the ability and the will to transform this country and I endorse him and offer him my full support. I am also making this conscious decision based on my personal experiences with both Mr. Qasim Ibrahim and the MDP Presidential candidate, Mr. Mohamed Nasheed (Anni), both of whom are close associates of mine and both of whom I respect immensely. A partnership between Qasim Ibrahim and Mohamed Nasheed (Anni) could have sealed the fate of Dictator Gayyoom once and for all. Unfortunately my efforts to unite them came to no fruition.
Since this leaves me with no alternative but to choose between the two, I have made a decision to support Mr. Qasim Ibrahim. It is my absolute conviction that Mr. Qasim Ibrahim will deliver the changes we now need in our country far better than any other candidate. I would urge all those who support me and appreciate my efforts in bringing an end to Gayyoom's dictatorship, to vote for Mr. Qasim Ibrahim and to elect him as President of the Maldives.
Having said that, I am convinced that, it is not too late to join hands together to ensure that we reach the end of our struggle in October this year and bring an end to this dictatorship once and for all. I therefore call upon the two largest opposition groups, the MDP and the Republican Party to reconsider their positions and make one final effort to come together in order to guarantee that the hopes and aspirations of our people to live in a democratic Maldives are fulfilled this year.
© Dhivehi Observer 2004