President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has assured he will not ratify any constitutional changes without first seeking a public referendum for it.
At the press conference held after facing defeat on Saturday's runoff election, president Solih said the current constitutional amendment proposed to the parliament requires 75 percent votes for approval. He said that despite parliamentary approval, the bill still requires public referendum.
"I can only implement it once the public gives their consent for it, this is the procedure stipulated in the Constitution for constitutional amendments, so when we reach to process I will appeal to the public," president Solih said.
"If the public rejects the [amendment] I cannot implement it."
According to the Maldives Constitution, any amendments to it can be brought through a parliamentary approval which then requires a public referendum before presidential ratification.
The parliament has initiated efforts to change the governance system, with a recent submission of a new constitutional amendment bill.
The amendment submitted by North-Maafannu MP Imthiyaz Fahmy states that if a referendum has already been conducted to obtain public opinion on a matter as required by the Constitution, a further referendum about a bill passed by the parliament regarding the same matter is not necessary before the president ratifies the bill.
The parliament earlier approved the resolution seeking a public referendum to change the governance system. The bill was approved through parliamentary discretion.