Yameen declines to meet with Nasheed

PPM's leader, former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom seen entering his vehicle. (Sun Photo/Mohamed Hayyan)

Jailed opposition leader, former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom has rejected a request by Parliament Speaker, former president Mohamed Nasheed to meet for discussions with respect to changing the governance system.

Nasheed and his party ‘The Democrats’ have been holding discussions with other political parties as they push to hold a constitutional referendum ahead of the presidential election’s runoff round slated for September 30th. Nasheed, after deciding to meet Yameen for these discussions, had put in a request to do so.

However, Maldives Correctional Service, on Sunday, told Sun that Yameen has declined to meet with Nasheed; a decision with the service has now informed the parliament secretariat.

Nasheed’s intention In meeting with Yameen had been working alongside PPM, if they pledge support for a parliamentary system of governance, whether be its conditional, or unconditional.

The Democrats, in a statement earlier, said the party’s discussions with PPM have come to a standstill after PPM refused to sign an agreement.

Following Yameen’s refusal to meet Nasheed, The Democrats is now likely to work on coaxing MDP to agree to their terms.

One of the such terms is holding a constitutional referendum before September 25th. If MDP disagrees with the conditions – it is highly likely for The Democrats not to choose either side – MDP or PPM – in the runoff.

The last constitutional referendum in the Maldives was held in 2007. Yameen’s then-party, People’s Alliance (PA) supported a parliamentary system back then. Even afterwards, Yameen has expressed support for a parliamentary system. However, as per Yameen, even though a parliamentary system is a good system, it is not fit for the Maldives, based on existing circumstances. Therefore, Yameen has said he is against changing the governance system at present.