Presidential system best suited to the Maldives – Former President Maumoon

Photo: Colombo Gazette

Former President Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom expressed his stance that a presidential system of government is best suited to the Maldives.

Speaking at the special Republic Day interview by the Raajje TV’s “Fashaairu” program, President Maumoon stressed that he would prefer a presidential system compared to a parliamentary system.

One of the chief reasons for why President Maumoon disapproves the parliamentary system is that in that system of government, elections can take place at any time allowing for governments to change too quickly.

“A new prime minister may even have to be appointed every two months. In fact, in the past, this had occurred in some countries such as Italy and the United Kingdom. The ruling party must hold the majority of the parliament. In such a system, the removal process of a government is so close that even if one bill proposed by the sitting government does not get passed in the parliament, the government will ultimately cease to hold office.”

President Maumoon was also of the view that a presidential system is far better compared to a parliamentary system since in the latter system of government, the head of the state – prime minister, is not directly elected by the citizens. Normally, in a parliamentary system, the leader of the party that has the overall majority in the parliament will be nominated as a prime minister.

When further prompted by the interviewer, President Maumoon also signaled his concern that although the Maldivian government is supposed to operate as a presidential system, currently the affairs of the government are being dealt through what appears to be more like a parliamentary system.

“In a presidential system, all the branches of the government must be separated from each other. And all three branches must check and balance the powers of each other”, he stated.

With the ruling party having super-majority in parliament, in reality, the works of the legislature and the executive is currently fused and intermingled.