Former President Mohamed Nasheed on Wednesday declared that the decision to move towards a different system of governance lay with President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.
The remark was made by the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) President during his canvass throughout the northern section of Huvadhoo Atoll, at an endorsement ceremony for MDP's Villingili, Gaafu Alif Atoll constituency candidate Haroon Rasheed.
"The president will decide if we should change from a presidential system to a parliamentary one. No one else", said Nasheed.
"Whether President Solih decides that it would be best to shift course on the governing system or not, the power and choice to do so and lead the party towards the desired change are all up to him. I have left those decisions entirely to him".
Nasheed elaborated on the declaration, stating that the reason behind MDP's efforts to gain a majority seating at parliament is to further the development of Maldives.
"We have been pursuing [a majority] for the last 15 years. Much of the progress we seek, requires a competent parliament to set [change] in motion", said Nasheed, "The same is true of what we hope to accomplish with our Agenda 19 [manifesto]".
Moving on to Gaafu Alif's Kolamaafushi, Maamendhoo, Nilandhoo, Dhandhoo, Kodey, Gemanafushi and Dhevvadhoo islands, where the leader of MDP was warmly received by residents, he spoke of many issues specific to the atoll.
Highlighting advancements such as increased revenue for fishermen, provision of housing and pension schemes for the elderly achieved under an MDP-led government, Nasheed assured islanders with his assurances that under the party’s ‘Agenda 19’ manifesto, many more benefits were to follow.
"One of the most important issues to Huvadhoo [the geographical atoll consisting of Gaafu Alifu and Gaafu Dhaalu] is that of transport. In an atoll where a great many islands are in a single lagoon, we can improve logistics considerably".
"Fisheries is another. This atoll has greatly benefited the growth of this industry and will continue to do so. Under Agenda 19, we plan to establish Ice Plants and other facilities for fishermen".
Nasheed proceeded to advocate for decentralization, claiming that by shifting powers to local administrative authorities, the development of various other businesses and aspects of industry would rise as well.
"It is rare that any country receives a second chance for change. Yet, as of 2018, we are once more at a turning point", said Nasheed.
"However, ultimately, electoral pledges cannot be realised without achieving a parliamentary majority".
The former president himself is currently running for the newly-formed Machchangoalhi Central constituency in capital Male, in the parliamentary elections slated for April 6.
Following a grand ceremony held at Thinadhoo, Gaafu Dhaalu, on Wednesday night, the campaign trail Nasheed and his delegation are on follows several islands in the southern sector of the atoll, concluding in Fuvahmulah Atoll.