|Dr. Mohamed Waheed |
(Vice President of Maldives)
At a time of growing discontent among the public on the issue of President Nasheed’s violation of the Constitution running into its third week, Maldives is goggling for a viable democratic solution to this standoff between the government and the opposition. A close consideration of the Vice President Dr. Mohamed Waheed Hassan Maniku has become an imperative.
Referring to the ongoing stalemate he writes in his website “The most important and most precious dividend from the democracy struggle in Maldives has been freedom from fear. It is the knowledge that no one of us will be dragged out of our beds in the middle of the night and taken to an undisclosed location. The moment we deny this freedom from one person, we deny that freedom for all.”
The first ever Maldivian to receive a Doctorate of Philosophy from Stanford University, Vice President Dr. Waheed has demonstrated restraint and maturity as a hardened politician whilst in the midst of the ongoing political crisis. One couldn’t expect more from a man with a Master’s degree in Political Science from Stanford University and years of experience on as an international civil servant behind him.
Dr. Waheed served the United Nations in various capacities, and in various countries ranging from Tanzania to Bangladesh, from UNICEF Headquarters in New York to Kathmandu, Nepal and in Afghanistan, where in the aftermath of the American War he was assigned to help with the reconstruction efforts to build up the Education Ministry of Afghanistan from scratch. He also served as the UNICEF's representative to the body responsible for reforming UN organizations.
Dr. Waheed returned to the Maldives to contribute to process of political development and bringing democracy to Maldives. In June 2008, after several unsuccessful attempts to work with Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), Dr. Waheed formed Gaumee Itthihaad Party and under a coalition agreement with the MDP, he ran for vice president and was elected during the 2008 Presidential Elections.
His political career has not been a smooth one. In 1989 Dr. Waheed contested for one of the two seats from Male in the Majlis; his popularity was challenged by the establishment of the Bimbi Force which was responsible for a number of arson attacks as well as a campaign of intimidation directed towards him and his supporters. During the leadership race immediately after the formation of the MDP a clandestine coalition of political leaders who feared Dr. Waheed’s comeback mounted a campaign to defame him by attacking both him and his family.
|The common man is a priority for Dr. Waheed|
Dr. Waheed received the blows of his political opponents with humility and restraint. He proved himself worthy of consideration clearly as the leader of choice, with qualities second to none in the political arena. “Maldives can gain from the diplomatic skills, expertise and experiences of this man” said one foreign diplomat. Waheed has clearly demonstrated his ability as a skipper armed with the skills and tools to maneuver Maldives from these troubled seas to calmer waters.
Whilst he continues to exercise his patience and tolerance even from within the framework of the very government that he condemns. Mother Maldives is a crying, she is crying out for protection, protection for her children. She is crying for protection to those who are weeping every night out of fear that they may be the next one to be dragged out of their bed in the middle of the night and taken to an undisclosed location.
|Coalition Leaders meet Vice President|
The only viable option for saving Maldives from catastrophe
God fearing Nation loving Maldivians should put aside the political differences and prejudice give due consideration to Dr. Waheed today, not because he is Waheed the Vice President, but because he is the only viable solution we have now to come out of this political situation, and continue on with our new found love affair with democracy until 2013, without setting examples and paving the way for coup d'état's, government overthrow scenarios and social unrest in our little society in future.