Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has accepted the resolution submitted by The Democrats member and Hulhudhoo MP Ilyas Labeeb calling for a public referendum to elect a governance system.
The resolution was accepted on Tuesday, September 19, after which it was approved for debate in the parliament.
While majority of MDP members chose not to attend both Sunday and Monday's parliament sittings, members from The Democrats debated about the resolution mainly.
Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed who chaired Tuesday's sitting, decided to proceed with the sitting until works related to the resolution concluded.
Nasheed called for a vote of approval at 2:15 p.m. on Tuesday's sitting. By then, several MDP members were in attendance.
Before the vote, MDP Parliamentary Group leader and North-Hithadhoo MP Mohamed Aslam and The Democrats PG leader and Central-Henveiru MP Ali Azim held a discussion with Nasheed.
Following this, Nasheed declared that upon the resolution's approval, committee works related to it will proceed on Wednesday, September 20, a decision he said was in order to allow discussion time for party leaders according to their request.
A total of 35 members voted in favor of accepting the resolution. Azim called to forward the resolution to the entire parliament committees, which was approved with 34 votes.
The resolution called out for a public referendum to ascertain the governance system before October 30, which Nasheed said was possible.
The Speaker added that the parliament had the discretion enforced by the Constitution to call for public referendum if required.
He added that the next step would be to request from the Elections Commission (EC) to facilitate the referendum.
MDP's sudden approval of The Democrats' demand for a referendum has come amid the ruling party's attempts to gain the newly formed party's favor ahead of the runoff polls of the presidential election.
The interim council of The Democrats on Monday evening made the decision to request a referendum from MDP to be held on September 28.
President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih responded by stating that it would not be possible to hold a referendum before the runoff polls. However, he expressed his willingness to endorse the idea if The Democrats agree to postpone the date.
Speaking with media, President Solih said he informed Nasheed a referendum was possible before November 17.