Over 50,000 people sign the constitutional referendum petition

Central Maafannu MP Ibrahim Rasheed (Bonde) signs petition calling for a referendum to decide on a parliamentary system.

Over 50,000 people have signed the petition calling for a constitutional referendum to switch from a presidential system to a parliamentary system.

The petition was drafted up by the renowned lawyer Ahmed Nishan who had spoken to Sun today regarding it – noting that they have attained many signatories whereas efforts were currently underway to record the details of the signatories to one system.

“From the information I have received – over 50,000 people have signed as of now. We have received many forms from the islands as well. Currently working on entering the information into a system. We will be able to identify whether there are repeated signatories this way,” he had said.

Speaking further, Nishan noted that the petition has been well received at the atolls as well – and subsequently many forms have been sent to the atolls in order to get more signatories. Forms that have already been signed will soon be sent back as well.

“The support is overwhelming. If we continue at this rate – we will soon reach the targeted number of signatures. This work will only be stopped when we reach the target,” he had said.

The aim of the petition is to collect 1,000,000 signatories within 100 days.

Nishan also added the upon collecting that targeted the number of signatures – the petition would be presented both to the President and the Parliament, along with a request to hold a constitutional referendum.

Supporters of Parliament Speaker, former President Mohamed Nasheed – a strong advocate for a parliamentary system – have been signing the petition, including some sitting MPs.

The last time a constitutional referendum was held in the Maldives was back in 2007 – during former President Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom’s administration. Back then, 92 percent of the voters favored a presidential system.