Governing system must be changed by referendum vote: President Solih

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih (L), Speaker Mohamed Nasheed (R) Photo: Avas

Malé, Maldives – President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has said that the governing system of the country would only be changed after a public opinion poll.

In a message sent out to media’s through Spokesperson of the Presidents Office, Mabrouq Azeez, President Solih had said that he had received the message from Speaker of Parliament, Mohamed Nasheed expressing his interest to become the Prime Minister of the country.

President has said that the current presidential system was voted for by the people of Maldives and until people want to change it through a public vote, it would remain a presidential system.

Following questions of whether the government was ready to go for such a vote, Spokesperson, Mabrouq said that the government has no intention of going for a vote at this moment and that Speaker of Parliament, Mohamed Nasheed had only requested to have a discussion with the president.

Speaking on the matter, President Solih had previously stated that this was a decision which needs to be made by the general public and that he did not want to focus on anything other than completing a successful 5 year term in office. He also added that people had voted to have a presidential system back in 2007 when the new constitution was being made and that people had said no to a parliamentary system.

According to local media sources, Speaker Nasheed had told that he did not want to be on the sidelines of the state and that he wants to run the country by becoming the Prime Minister of Maldives. He had sent the message to the president yesterday evening but also stated that he wanted to discuss the matter with President Solih. 

In the message he had sent, Speaker Nasheed had told that the president of the country would be decided from parliament in 2024 instead of holding the 2023 elections. Nasheed also said that the current parliament would decide who would become the president of the Maldives. 

Speaker Nasheed’s more direct and open show of interest to become Prime Minister of the country comes while he has repeatedly stated that he had the interest to become one in the past. But Nasheed has previously said that it wasn’t the right time to change the governing system. Speaker Nasheed has also made repeated comments about bringing a parliamentary system to the country. 

Speaker Nasheed had previously responded to the parliamentarian by saying that although he has the same thought as him and has always supported the decision of changing the country’s system, this is not the right time to debate about changing systems.