Parliamentary System Bill kicked out of parliament

DRP leader and Kaashidhoo constituency MP Abdulla Jabir | Photo: Majlis

Male’, Maldives – Bill to change the system of governance of Maldives from a presidential system to a parliamentary system proposed by DRP leader and Kaashidhoo constituency MP Abdulla Jabir has been kicked out of the parliament.

MP Jabir said that even though that it has been decided that the people want a presidential system through a vote, that the system of governance was not specifically mentioned in the constitution and that this can be argued upon.

He also added that even though people had been electing presidents since 2008, the system of governance resembles more of a parliamentary system as the administrations have came to power in coalitions. He said that because of this, people were facing devastating losses and when the constitution gets amended so that the country would have a parliamentary system, then people’s rights would also get protected better.

The bill was voted out of the parliament with 51 votes today. The only member who voted for the bill was MP Jabir himself. During the parliament sitting held today, only three members, including MP Jabir participated in the debate on the bill. Opposition coalitions member Maduvvaree constituency MP Adam Shareef only stated that he did not wish to speak about changing the government system while the Former President Yameen was in jail.

Maradhoo constituency MP Ibrahim Shareef however criticized MP Jabir for proposing the bill stating that this can be done only through a vote and that MP Jabir was out of his mind to have proposed this during the Covid-19 pandemic. He also said that MP Jabir should have considered the fact that the council elections were also postponed by the parliament for a year due to Covid-19. MP Shareef also said that the government could not afford a referendum vote during this crisis.

While the MDP majority parliament voted the parliamentary system bill today, the Speaker of Parliament, Former President Mohamed Nasheed, who is also the president of MDP is an advocate for the parliamentary system. He has stated that a parliamentary system would be more effective and efficient for Maldives on several occasions. However he had recently said that this was not the time to go for a debate on the systems.