Pres. Maumoon: This isn’t a true presidential system

Former Maldivian President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom (L) pays a courtesy call on President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih (R) at the President's Office on March 12, 2019. (Photo/President's Office)

Former President of the Maldives Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom has stated that the Maldives was not being governed by a true presidential system in wide ranging interview with a local tv station.

President Maumoon was speaking at the “Fashaairu” program of Raajje TV when he stated that traits of a Parliamentary system were visible in the current government despite it being a Presidential system.

“I find it similar (to a Parliamentary system) due to some events that are currently happening. However, that is not because of the system. For instance, it is not so that the decisions of the government are presented to the Parliament for a vote on the same day (as they were made) and officials (involved in the decision) are summoned and questioned. I am seeing a whole new picture.” said the former President.

Maldives is best suited for a Presidential system

President Maumoon also noted that the Presidential system was so that the three powers of the country were separated and were watchful of each other and stated that the best way was when limits were set that would prevent things from getting mixed.

The country was best suited for a Presidential system according to former President Maumoon who was in power for 30 years and underlined the fear that a Parliamentary system would see the shift of administrations at a rapid rate.

The former President who is a respected figure by many in the country then went on to predict that a Parliamentary system would see the Prime Minister faced with challenges after just a few months, which would make it difficult for the government to do work for the benefit of the public.

The former President also said in the interview that he deeply respected the current President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih with whom he has a very close relationship. He also guaranteed that his political party MRM would remain in the governing coalition before turning the spotlight on his 30-year reign as the President of the country.

President Maumoon noted that the country was in a dire state economically and educationally when he became the President and pointed out that the only government school out of Male’ existed in B. Atoll when he first took over. The former President stated that the emphasis was to improve such things.

"I had no role in President Nasir’s departure"

President Maumoon also rejected allegations that the first President of the second republic Ibrahim Nasir was run out of the country by him. Maumoon noted that the former President Nasir had the full freedom to leave the country and left on his own will.

The first President of the second republic of Maldives President Ibrahim Nasir and First Lady Mariyam Saeed.

“I did not take over the Presidency by my own will then. He (President Nasir) left on his own free will,” said President Maumoon.

The first President of the second republic declared in the Maldives lived in Singapore with his family for the remainder of his life before passing away in 2008. The former President left in 1978 after resigning and died in Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore but was later buried after a state funeral in the Hukuru mosque. President Nasir’s property in Velaanaage now houses the main government offices in the country.