Nasheed explains the timeline for his parliamentary system dream

Parliament Speaker, former President Mohamed Nasheed speaks to press. (Sun Photo/Mohamed Naail Hussain)

Parliament Speaker, former President Mohamed Nasheed has explained the timeline for his vision of changing the system of government in Maldives from a presidential to parliamentary system.

In a press conference at the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) headquarters on Monday, Nasheed, the party’s leader, stood by his assertation that the parliamentary system was the most fitting system of government for Maldives.

He said it was something all Maldivian people agreed on.

Nasheed said he remained committed to efforts to change the system.

Nasheed said he wished to make necessary amendments to the Constitution and take a referendum on parliamentary system this year, and to have a transitional parliamentary system in place starting February next year.

“To have the 2023 presidential elections held in accordance with an amended Constitution, and to have a full-functioning parliamentary system with the 2024 parliamentary elections,” he said.

Nasheed said he planned on discussing the subject with various MDP officials, and was confident a system change had the support of both MDP and general public.

Nasheed has long been a vocal advocate for changing to a parliamentary system.

He has submitted a resolution to MDP’s upcoming congress, calling to hold a referendum on changing to a parliamentary system, and to make major constitutional amendments if the referendum ends in favor of a parliamentary system.

It also calls to declare a prime minister elected among parliamentarians as the head of government, and a president elected through popular vote as head of state.

The resolution also proposes establishing the policy for the national list of parliamentarians, based on the votes political parties receive in parliamentary elections.

The resolution was seconded by MDP’s deputy leader, Minister at the President’s Office Mohamed Shifaz.

Additional proposals on the resolution include having the Cabinet composed of parliamentarians, setting the maximum limit of parliamentarians to 87, limiting the Supreme Court bench to five justices, and changing the composition of the Judicial Service Commission.

The congress is scheduled to be held on August 19.