The Daily Panic

Mordis: Campaign Kaleidoscope

You know me. I love elections! In fact, I did pretty extensive coverage of the historic first democratic elections in the Maldives back in 2008.

The upcoming elections are still about two months away – assuming they are not canceled on grounds of say, “political instability” following a conviction of a certain former President in a kangaroo court by the coup regime…

Anyhow, now that the all-knowing, omniscient DO Sappe appears to be no longer around to tell us things exactly as they happen, I figured I need to redouble my election coverage efforts in 2013.

Before we start, however, it would be appropriate to observe a moment’s silence in honour of the dead.

The dead, in this case, being Abdulla Yameen’s campaign.

This sleazy politician – who I regretfully happen to share a name with – has always had deep flaws as a democratic politician: namely, his being dictator Gayoom’s half brother, having alleged gangland connections, not to mention the mass appeal of a famine and the charm of a road accident.

But despite all of that, I had always considered him to be wily and capable of some amount of clever judgment.

All that changed in May when Yameen, in an apparent hara kiri, nominated as his running mate, Dr Mohamed Jameel. I locked away a small team of scientists in a private research facility to mull over this for 2 months, and the only reason they could come up with was that this was a secret ploy to make Yameen somehow look more charming in comparison.

You see, Jameel is an oddity of Nature. A temperamental man whose fuse is as short as his forehead is massive. An enormous black hole out of which no charm can escape; a guy who often quotes himself on Twitter; a guy who ends up yelling at the audience he’s supposed to win over in a nationally broadcast Vice Presidential debate before storming off stage. A guy who can’t even pronounce the name of the country he’s tried twice to become Vice President of. A guy who has never won any election in his life, and should on no account be considered for any office where he has to persuade the public, or win them over.

That guy is now PPM’s Vice Presidential candidate.

Rest in Peace, Abdulla Yameen’s campaign. Thy time on Earth was too short

But just because I mourn for PPM’s campaign, doesn’t mean it is not chock-full of hilarity. You see, while real candidates go around the country announcing mini manifestoes and generating pleasant, campaign images like these:

via @nautymatox

.. PPM running mate Jameel hilariously counters them with images like these:

Observe: The two gentlemen on the right are desperately pretending to be posing for an entirely different picture. Also. Notice the vandalism of public property in the background.

And here, Jameel has posted this picture of a room full of scowling and indifferent men as evidence of how his party, PPM, has “won over” the people.

I have a feeling this gentleman disagrees

But it would be unfair to blame Jameel alone for this trainwreck of a campaign.

You see, after 30 years of never having to give a shit about common people, poor Abdulla Yameen simply doesn’t know what to do around these.. peasants.. these odious, ordinary.. creatures.. these “people” things.

OK… it appears to be laughing at my hat. Now what?

And here he is, looking utterly disinterested while his running mate makes some obviously important and pertinent point. (Although to be fair, nobody else in the room appears to be giving a shit either)

But all in all, one thing is clear this pre-election season: there is only party in the running that has any sort of real organization and clear campaign vision, and it happens to be the MDP.Of course, that’s not a good thing, as the whole point of having a multi party democracy is to have competitive platforms and visions, and strong choices on the ballot for the people on Elections day. Instead, the coalition of coup perpetrators have fallen apart, and remain uninspired and lost in the cacophony of their own hollow noise.
They can’t really hope to inspire voters with  promises to arrest Nasheed, and the tiresome “laadheenee” card they’ve been playing for years is now old and worn out. Finally, they simply do not have the grassroots activism or the organizational capacity to actually come up with an original manifesto that reflects public aspirations.

Gayoom’s PPM today seems utterly weak and direction less compared to the once mighty DRP that contested and led the first round in the 2008 elections.Waheed’s campaign – with its “wide” coalition of rag tag extremists and rich businessmen – only seems to fare marginally better, (at least as far as its campaign pictures are concerned – provided they don’t show Waheed in any form of reclining position)

And thus, an year and a half after the coup, the MDP remains the only party that appears capable of consistently pulling thousands pouring out on the streets.

Earlier tonight – MDP 8th anniversary rally

Perhaps it is time to send Maumoon back to Singapore for another facelift, so that he can replace the two unfortunate names currently on the PPM ticket. That could put some life back into this election.On the other hand, if this campaigning business proves too tedious, the coup regime can always arrest Nasheed, call off the elections, and mobilize a band of baton-wielding police thugs to decide the next government!


P.S. If you’re a Villa staff member and/or are already being forced by upper management to angrily question me over the fact that I have not mentioned Jumhooree Party’s honourable leader and Presidential Candidate Gasim Ibrahim even once in this whole blog post – then here’s why: He’s going to be very broke in 2014, and he still won’t be President. Shh!.


(First published on 27 June 2013)

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