Nasheed hints at a constitutional referendum before 2023

Speaker of Parliament, former President Mohamed Nasheed on an episode of 'Ask Speaker'. (Photo/People's Majlis)

Parliament Speaker, former President Mohamed Nasheed has hinted that a constitutional referendum will be held prior to 2023.

Maldivian Constitution states that the executive power is vested in the President, and the President shall be the head of state and head of the government.

However, Speaker Nasheed has repeatedly stated that the Constitution which came into force in the year 2008, was built on a parliamentary system and the best governing system is a parliamentary system.

In response to a question posed by a member of the public during the fourth program of ‘Ask Speaker’ held tonight, inquiring whether MDP’s presidential ticket would be given to President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih – Speaker Nasheed said that his vision is to not have the presidential system in place starting after 2023.

“What I really think is that, after 2023, the governance system will not continue as a presidential system. Therefore, as I mostly see it, this is not a kind of question that should be answered in detail,” he had said.

However, Nasheed said that should there be a presidential election, a candidate from the party will be decided after an internal primary election, in line with the virtues of democracy.

Nasheed’s statements that it is unlikely that a presidential system will be in place after this term, in possibly an indication that a constitutional referendum will be held prior to the next presidential elections.

Nasheed, who has always been an advocate for the parliamentary system, has previously also stated that it is important to hold a constitutional referendum in 2022. He also added that the governance of Maldives will be improved through a parliamentary system.

Following Nasheed’s return to Maldives after staying abroad for medical treatment for the injuries sustained in the terror attack against him on May 6, he has met with President Solih to discuss changing the system of governance. He has also met with prominent political figures.