Nasheed’s constitution amendment draft explained

Former President and Speaker of Parliament Mohamed Nasheed | Photo: Mihaaru

Malé, Maldives – Former President of Maldives and Current Speaker of the Parliament Mohamed Nasheed published his proposed draft to the constitution of the country on Monday.

The resolution will be presented and called for a vote with in ruling party Maldives National Democratic Party (MDP) in the upcoming party congress scheduled to begin on Friday.

Nasheed, who has frequently been vocal about his desire to have Parliamentary system in the Maldives, generally categorised the President’s role in his proposed amendment to be a decorative one, who will be elected with either 35% or majority of public votes.

Roles of President as per the draft:

  • President will be the Commander in Chief of President
  • Declare war and truce
  • Declare state of emergency
  • Appoint High Commissioners/Ambassadors
  • Accept credentials of High Commissioners/Ambassadors
  • Forward to the Parliament to appoint individuals to Commissions and other positions
  • Formulate investigative Commissions
  • Hold elections on important national matters
  • Declare national and governmental holidays
  • Handout awards, honours and titles
  • Pardon or minimise punishments of those with criminal convictions
  • Impeach the parliament in events as specified in the constitution

As per the draft, the Prime Minister will run the country primarily, and the government will be formulated as follows:

  • Establish in the constitution that the Prime Minister will be appointed from the party that secures the majority of Parliamentary seats
  • Establish in the constitution that the Cabinet of Ministers will be formulated from the Members elected to the Parliament
  • Establish in the constitution, the duration within which the government must be formulated and announced.
  • Establish in the constitution that in the event of failure to formulate and announce a government within the designated period, the President shall announce the impeachment of the Parliament and hold a re-election

The draft also outlined proposed justice reform as well, stating that the number of Supreme Court Justices should be amended in accordance with the constitution and to revise the structure of the Judicial Service Commission.

While Nasheed plans to move ahead with his dream of a Parliamentary system in the Maldives, MDP itself is divided on which system is better for the country. The general gist of the divide is that Nasheed’s supporters are in favour of the move, while President Solih’s supporters want to remain in a Presidential system.

So far, President Solih has not expressed his support for a Parliamentary system, but did state that the governmental system has been decided by the people, and that it can only be changed by a vote of the people.