Defeated Nasheed withdraws parliamentary system proposal

Speaker of Parliament and President of MDP, Mohamed Nasheed (L), Minister of Economic Development and Chairperson of MDP, Fayyaz Ismail (C) and President of Maldives, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih (R) having a discussion during the MDP congress 2022 | Photo: Mihaaru

Malé, Maldives – Speaker of Maldivian Parliament and President of Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), Mohamed Nasheed has withdrawn the decree for a constitutional referendum to change the political system of the Maldives from Presidential to Parliamentary.

The decree submitted by Speaker Nasheed to the Maldivian Democratic Party’s (MDP) congress held from August 19 – 21, 2022, read that it has become difficult for a single party to win a presidential election and run the government with absolute rule due to the presidential election and election processes under the current constitution.

Nasheed, who received little support from his own party on his endeavor to make Maldives a Parliamentary system, withdrew the decree before it was opened for debate to the congress floor citing that an agreement was reached between him and President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih to discuss the matter further.

He further stated that discussions between him and President Solih has been going on before the congress started and during the congress as well and that both of them decided that the congress was not the platform to debate on the governing system.

The withdrawal of the decree came while President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih expressed his views opposing the establishment of a Parliamentary system in the Maldives, and has called for the withdrawal of the resolution in an interview he gave to a local media on August 16, 2022.

“I believe after discussions with the president and other bodies of the party [MDP], we will be able to come up with ways which fits us all. There’s no question about this.

President of Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), Mohamed Nasheed

Nasheed’s proposed amendment to the constitution stated that the head of government would be the Prime Minister elected by the Parliament Members, and that the head of the state would be the President elected via presidential election.

Nasheed also called to determine in the constitution, the powers of the head of state and the powers and responsibilities of the President when the Prime Minister runs the country, as well as the representation of Parliamentary constituencies and the formulation of a “National List” of members based on the votes secured by parties in the Parliamentary elections.

Further, he also proposed to limit the number of Parliament member at a maximum of 87 and to determine that the government will be run by a Cabinet of Minister appointed among the Parliament Members. He also proposes to determine that the number of Supreme Court Justices be limited to 5.

Other proposed amendments included the determination of changes to be made to the structure of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), and to include the basic characteristics of the Decentralisation Act of Maldives in the constitution.

Speaker Nasheed has on multiple occasions pushed to convert the current presidential system to a parliamentary system. Nasheed has signed a petition of over 109,000 signatures previously, urging President Solih to convert the governance system to parliamentary.