The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) is set to hold a crucial meeting this week to deliberate on its position concerning the proposed alteration of the government system in the Maldives. This development comes in the wake of concerted efforts by The Democrats, led by former President and Parliament Speaker Mohammed Nasheed, to transition from a presidential to a parliamentary system of governance.
In a noteworthy collaboration, members from both The Democrats and the MDP joined forces to back a resolution urging the Elections Commission (EC) to arrange a referendum concerning the potential change in the government system. The proposed referendum, if it goes forward, is tentatively scheduled for October 29, ahead of the EC’s target date of October 30.
Deputy Chairman of the MDP, Ibrahim Waheed, confirmed that a significant meeting is planned for Tuesday to ascertain the official stance of the party on this matter. While President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has expressed his willingness for a systematic vote during the second round of the election campaign, he emphasized that a final decision would be made post-election.
However, it’s essential to acknowledge the divergence of opinions within the MDP regarding the government system alteration. A considerable number of MDP Members of Parliament (MPs) have expressed their opposition to this change. MDP Chairman Fayyaz Ismail articulated his view that the MDP should not unilaterally reverse the choice made by the electorate. He asserted that once the people have elected their leader for the next five years, the democratic principles should be respected by allowing the elected leader to serve a full term.
Fayyaz Ismail advocated for President-elect Dr. Mohammed Muizz to be given an uninterrupted five-year term in office, reflecting the MDP’s commitment to democratic norms. MDP Vice-Chairman Ibrahim Waheed echoed this sentiment, highlighting his belief that revisiting the government system decision after the people have spoken would be in contradiction to the democratic principles that the MDP has long upheld.
The impending meeting of the MDP is poised to play a significant role in determining the party’s stance on this matter, as the political landscape in the Maldives continues to evolve.