Nasheed wants prime ministership, not presidency: President Solih

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and Speaker Mohamed Nasheed | Photo: Social media

Malé, Maldives – President Ibrahim Mohammed Solih has said that Former President and MDP President Mohammed Nasheed wants the prime ministership, not the presidency.

In the press conference held at Presidential Office today, the President said Speaker Nasheed no longer wanted the post of President of Maldives and now he wanted the post of Prime Minister.

“He [Speaker Nasheed] has answered that very clearly,” President Solih told.

The President said this while Nasheed sent a message to the President in April saying he wanted to run the country as Prime Minister.

In the message, Nasheed asked the parliament to change the system and form the government by February next year. He also asked not to hold the 2023 presidential election.

Nasheed is a strong supporter of the parliamentary system and has previously said that the most certain way for President Solih to get a second term in office is through the parliamentary system.

However, Nasheed has decided to contest the presidential primary to determine the candidate of the MDP for the upcoming presidential election. President Solih is also contesting the presidential primary. The primary will be held on the 28th of next month.

Speaker Nasheed had previously submitted a resolution to the MDP Congress to hold a referendum to determine the way to win the presidential election without going to a second round. However, he withdrew the decree for a constitutional referendum to change the political system of the Maldives from Presidential to Parliamentary.

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.

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.