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Informed Nasheed that Referendum is possible before Nov 17: President Solih

Mohamed Rehan
20 September 2023, MVT 14:28
President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s door to door campaign
Mohamed Rehan
20 September 2023, MVT 14:28

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih said he spoke with former Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) leader Mohamed Nasheed for collaborative efforts in campaigning ahead of the runoff polls.

President Solih, who is also the MDP candidate, said he had informed Nasheed that a referendum to decide governance system was possible before November 17.

During an interview with local media following his door-to-door campaign in Henveiru ward, President Solih said that the Democrats, a party founded by Nasheed, have insisted on scheduling a referendum for September 25 as a prerequisite for forming an alliance with the MDP ahead of the runoff polls.

President Solih however, said a referendum was not practical with the runoff polls close by. He said that discussions were held with Nasheed to postpone the referendum.

President Solih said that he made a 'reasonable proposal' for the matter, and added it could be achieved transparently.

"We even discussed about a date [to hold the referendum]. There's a resolution regarding it already in the parliament, isn't it? So, I requested [Nasheed] about approving the resolution and forward it to me after which I would request to the Elections Commission (EC) in writing to schedule a date for the referendum," president Solih said.

"We have proposed to hold the referendum after the presidential election, but have not received their response yet. We proposed to hold [the referendum] before November 17."

President Solih also said he spoke to Nasheed on Sunday, September 17, over the phone. "We were able to converse just like before. Ours is a political dispute, and we spoke about that in our entire conversation yesterday."

Earlier, The Democrats candidate Ilyas Labeeb submitted a resolution to the parliament seeking a public referendum to elect a governance system.

Meanwhile, President Solih said that an alliance with The Democrats would shift over 15,000 votes the party secured in the first round, to MDP in the runoff polls.

However, on Monday evening, majority of The Democrats members chose either to remain neutral or not to ally behind the MDP candidate.