The Maldives has gone through fast and complex political changes over the past decades. People who came into politics in 2008 got tangled up in the corrupt government system left behind by the old regime. A system where Ministers control their ministries like a private company. Those under them are restricted with red tape in doing their part to contribute to the country and those deputy ministers and others close to the minister has the backing to support the corrupt system for personal wealth and influence. This extends to government companies as well.
Some Ministers and Chairpersons of state owned companies have tried to tackle the corruption, however they have found that the reality of the situation is that those under them who are more connected to maybe the President or head of the ruling party has at the end of the day more power than the person that actually holds the top position.
At the end of the day these Ministries or state companies are controlled by few corrupt similar to a drug cartel. The idea that any good person can come in and clean it up without causing a system overhaul is foolish. Yet, this is what the corrupt depends on to smear anyone that try to change the system they have spent decades to build. The moment anyone try to challenge the system, these cartels use their connection to local media to start various propaganda against these individuals.
They know that propaganda works like a charm in the Maldives because of there is a section of Maldivian youth and political party followers that will accept anything negative about someone and jump on the opportunity to ride with this propaganda as a new gossip trend to spread it far and wide.
At the same time, Maldivians in general are tired of existing political parties. They have learnt, and maybe some are still learning that the same old politicians who have been promising them dreams tend to come into government only to benefit their own pockets.
This have given opportunity for new parties to be formed, however by the same old political faces. Hence, people might be wondering how this would change anything. Those that have been very much involved in local politics in the front line is very likely to be controlled by the same powerful figures in the Maldives that benefits from the corrupt system. If they aren’t, how do voters know for sure? Have they been openly against the deep state cartels that has for decades benefited from the corrupt system while ordinary citizens suffer?
Then comes the independent politicians, which seems to be the trend for voters at the moment. However this becomes a bit complicated when international politics comes into play. As everyone in the Maldives knows, Indian military activities has become the top concern for voters for the coming elections. What many voters still do not understand is the cozy and strategic relations that India and Saudi Arabia has made over the years. Multiple sources from the intelligence community has confirmed that Saudi Arabia has endorsed Indian military activity in the Maldives as there is a geo-political partnership with Delhi and Riyadh assisting each other’s military interest.
If this is true, then it becomes a problem with any politician or political party that might be claim to be against all foreign influence in the Maldives. If they are able to talk openly against India, but are worried about criticizing Saudi Arabia due to it’s religious influence in the country, then what does it say about the independence of these politicians and parties? How can anyone serve the interest of Maldives to become a great country if they are clearly not able to criticize countries even for specific crimes they might have committed. An example is Saudi war on Yemen and the killing of journalist Jamal Kashoggi. In Democracy we have a saying: When good people are silent, it is what allows the corrupt to become powerful.