Nasheed: The President will not appoint people to electoral positions

Parliament Speaker, former President President Mohamed Nasheed (L) shakes hands with President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih (R) at the launch of Rahvehi Fathis, MDP's campaign for the local council elections 2020, on February 21, 2020. (Sun Photo/Mohamed Muzain Nazim)

Parliament Speaker, President Mohamed Nasheed, on Wednesday, said he believed President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih to be a beacon of democracy, and was therefore confident he would not to choose to appoint anyone to electoral positions.

Maldives invoked a state of public health emergency over the COVID-19 pandemic on March 12, and the Local Council Elections, which was originally scheduled for April 4, has been postponed to April 18.

The government has submitted a sunset bill to postpone the elections as late as January 6, 2021, and a separate constitutional amendment to extend the term of incumbent councilors in order to address the legal vacuum which will result once the term of the incumbent councilors expires on June 3.

However, the parliamentarians have voiced reservations over making the constitutional amendment. In the ensuing debate, some suggested that instead of making a constitutional amendment, the President be authorized to appoint officials to oversee councils until the elections can be held.

Speaker Nasheed addressed this suggestion at the virtual parliamentary sitting this morning.

He said that a person who believed in the principles of democracy would find it hard to appoint people to electoral positions.

“The President I know, I believe, will not appoint people to electoral positions… I believe wholeheartedly that our President is a beacon of democracy,” said Nasheed.

He said he could engage in a separate discussion with the President regarding the subject.

Nasheed provided assurance the Parliament would produce a legal remedy to the issue.