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Gasim rejects Nasheed’s proposal of a parliamentary governing system

Mohamed Rehan
04 June 2023, MVT 11:31
Jumhoory Party (JP) leader Qasim Ibrahim (L) with Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed-- Photo: Mihaaru
Mohamed Rehan
04 June 2023, MVT 11:31

Jumhoory Party (JP) leader Qasim Ibrahim has rejected Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed’s proposal of transitioning the Maldivian governance into a parliamentary system.

The JP leader rejected the proposal stating that he could not endorse such a direction without first seeking the opinion of the public. The suggestion for a shift to a parliamentary system was put forward by Nasheed during the discussions held to form a coalition for the upcoming presidential elections.

Nasheed along with his close associates began working with JP’s leadership endorsing Qasim Ibrahim for presidency. Once the discussions reached to manifesto formulation and amendments to government’s structure, Nasheed had submitted a proposal to JP.

In the proposal, Nasheed reiterated his stance on transforming the government into a parliamentary system. Representatives from both the JP and Nasheed's party engaged in discussions to further delve into the specifics outlined in the proposal.

Given the current political landscape and circumstances, Qasim had stated that he would "not comment" on the governing system before the presidential elections. He said that besides discussions for a change in the governing system, JP and Nasheed along with his representatives can arrive to a mutually beneficial conclusion regarding other matters highlighted in the proposal.

"The relationship between President Nasheed and Honorable Qasim Ibrahim is strong, and there have been no interruptions in the discussions they initiated for the elections," a member of the JP Council said.

Proposal presented by Nasheed

- Creating the designation of a Prime Minister

- Prime Minister to be elected from majority votes in the Maldives Parliament

- Prime Minister can be dismissed either by Parliament’s majority votes or by the President according to Maldives Constitution

- Prime Minister’s mandate includes, with the exception of appointing the cabinet, creating political positions and appointing individuals to these positions under the instruction of the President

- Prime Minister to be the primary authoritative figure representing the government in the parliament and the primary accountable person for state affairs

The proposal suggested holding a public referendum to decide on the governing system, with the referendum taking place during the period between the announcement of the winning presidential candidate and their swearing-in. It was also proposed that the necessary constitutional amendments for the referendum should be made during the same period.

The proposal also highlighted that if the parliamentary system receives approval from the referendum, the necessary changes should be made to officially establish the 2024 parliament accordingly.

Nasheed, who was defeated in the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party's (MDP) primary, has made the decision not to endorse the party's presidential candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih for a second term. Instead, Nasheed has chosen to endorse Qasim Ibrahim for the elections, stating that it is a "golden opportunity." However, Qasim has always been openly critical of the parliamentary system.

On multiple occasions, the JP leader had said a parliamentary system in the Maldives was not possible he system would not be beneficial to the public.

Following discussions with JP, Nasheed’s close associates began work to form a new political party "The Democrats". The newly established party has announced its intention to field a candidate for the upcoming presidential elections.

Despite the parties announcing their respective candidates for the elections, they have maintained that the ongoing discussions to form a coalition have not encountered any significant obstacles.