President: If parliament approves, will instruct EC before the runoff to hold referendum

MDP's presidential candidate President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih captured during door-to-door campaign in Male' City. (Photo/MDP)

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has stated that he will instruct Elections Commission (EC) to hold a constitutional referendum before October 30 prior to runoff of the presidential election, if the parliament passes the resolution calling for the same.

Speaking to the press on the sidelines of his ongoing door-to-door campaign in Male’ City – President Solih said it was impossible to hold a constitutional referendum on September 28th as proposed by The Democrats as a condition to form a coalition for the runoff.

As EC said, the president reiterated that at least 30 days were required to prepare for the election.

“If the parliament approves to hold a constitutional referendum within a certain timeframe after the presidential election, I can request Elections Commission to hold one before the voting in the runoff,” he said.

Speaking at Tuesday’s parliamentary sitting – Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed said the parliament can directly instruct EC to hold a constitutional referendum, without any role of the president in the process.

Speaking to the press on Tuesday evening – President Solih said that a constitutional referendum can be held only after approval of the parliament by a majority vote of three-quarters of the total membership and subsequent assent by the president.

The resolution submitted by The Democrats’ Hulhudhoo MP Ilyas Labeeb, calling for a constitutional referendum on changing the system of governance in Maldives, was accepted by the parliament at Tuesday’s sitting.