Democrats hit pause on push to change government system

Speaker Mohamed Nasheed addresses a rally held by the Democrats. (Sun Photo/Mohamed Shathiu Abdulla)

The Democrats have hit pause on their push to change the system of governance in Maldives, deciding to give President-elect Dr. Mohamed Muizzu a chance.

The Parliament had passed a resolution submitted by the Democrats last month, calling for a referendum to decide on a system change before October 30.

Opening Wednesday’s parliamentary sitting, Speaker Mohamed Nasheed, a member of Democrats, said the party had decided to pause its efforts to have a referendum held.

Nasheed said he shared the decision with Muizzu, during his visit to the Parliament on Tuesday.

“I myself, and the members of the Democrats, who called for the referendum, don’t wish to proceed with this at this time. Democrats wish for Dr. Muizzu to assemble his administration, and for the administration to govern in accordance with the presidential system,” he said.

Nasheed said that at Tuesday’s meeting, he spoke to Muizzu about how the Maldivian society continues to be engaged in discourse over a change in the system of governance.

He said that Muizzu wasn’t opposed to having a referendum taken in due course.

“Muizzu that in due course, we can circle back to it and ask the people,” said Nasheed.

Nasheed said he was pleased with Muizzu’s response, and appealed for Muizzu to be given a chance to assume office and govern the country.

He also decided not to proceed with the debate on the system change – which had been set in the agenda for Tuesday’s sitting.

Elections Commission (EC) had already notified the Parliament that it cannot hold the referendum by the deadline given in the resolution. The Parliament had been scheduled to hold the reading of the letter sent by the commission and debate on it.