President welcomes petition calling for constitutional referundum

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. (Photo/President's Office)

Spokesperson of the President’s Office Mabrook Azeez has stated that President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih welcomes the effort to inquire about the public’s opinion regarding the governance system in the Maldives – in reference to the petition started calling for a constitutional referendum to switch from a presidential system to a parliamentary system

With Maldivian Democratic Party’s (MDP) Leader Mohamed Nasheed spearheading, a group of MDP members began collecting signatures for a petition which calls for a constitutional referendum to switch from a presidential system to a parliamentary system.

When asked regarding President Solih’s view on the matter by Sun, Spokesperson Mabrook had stated that the President’s view on the parliamentary system has still not changed.

“It is not such a big deal to inquire whether this is something that the public wants. Whether this is a public concern. Prior to this, President Solih has stated that this is the only way that the governing system can be changed. The petition was started in order to find out whether the public really wants it. So, the petition is welcomed,” Mabrook had said.

Noting that President Solih had previously stated that the governance system can only be changed through a constitutional referendum – and his view has not changed. Mabrooq also stressed that the President’s only concern right now is to fulfill the electoral pledges made by him.

In addition to this, Mabrook also stated that the topic of changing the governance system is one that has always been talked about within MDP – thus the act of starting a petition calling for a constitutional referendum is not such a big deal.

The establishment of a parliamentary system in the Maldives is being advocated for by MDP’s Leader, Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed. Prior to this, Nasheed had texted President Solih expressing his wishes to change the system of governance in the Maldives to a parliamentary one instead of the current presidential one and become the Prime Minister – also adding that a referendum must be held prior to 2023 presidential elections. President Solih had Nasheed that the current system is in place with the vote of the people whereas a change can only be made with the vote of the people.

Earlier today, Nasheed has also tweeted saying that he will only be supporting those who favor a parliamentary system in the Maldives amongst the candidates contesting in MDP’s upcoming National Council elections. MDP members who are supporters of Nasheed have always backed his advocacy for a parliamentary system in the Maldives and in this regard continues to promote the parliamentary system.