President opposes Nasheed's proposed governing system switch

Speaker Mohamed Nasheed and President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. (Sun Photo/Muzayyin Nazim)

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has opposed his party leader, long-term friend, and political ally former President and Current Speaker of the Parliament Mohamed Nasheed over a proposed change of the system of governance in the Maldives to a parliamentary one instead of the current presidential one. 

The President, in a statement made today, said that such a change can only be done after a referendum of the people after Nasheed sent a message to President Solih, stating his wish to change the system of governance in the Maldives from a Presidential system to a Parliamentary system and to appoint himself as the Prime Minister. In the message, Nasheed said that he no longer wished to remain on the sidelines anymore and wanted to run the nation by becoming the Prime Minister. 

 A statement sent by President Office's spokesperson Mabrouq Azeez to local media today read that the President had received the message from his party leader.

"The current system is in place with the vote of the people. The President's view is that a change can only be made with the vote of the people," read the statement. 

Nasheed in his message proposed abandoning the 2023 presidential elections, making the transition to a parliamentary system, and dissolving the government. He suggested that the Parliament govern the Maldives until the next parliamentary elections.

The message was also sent by Nasheed to some cabin members and some vocal supporters of Nasheed are even promoting the parliamentary system on social media.

However, Nasheed's proposed system switch has also been met with stark criticism and opposition, with former Presidents Dr. Waheed and Maumoon also expressing their disapproval of such a plan, before advocating a public referendum. A number of MPs including governing MDP lawmakers have also voiced their opposition. 

The Maldives held a referendum in 2007, where the people voted for the current system in place, however, Nasheed is an avid supporter of the parliamentary system which he believes is better suited for the nation and its constitution. Nasheed is the leader of the governing main party MDP, to which President Solih belongs to.