Speaker of the Parliament Mohamed Nasheed has submitted a motion to MDP’s Congress on holding a public referendum to change the governance system. He shared the motion on his Twitter account today.
Speaker Nasheed said that he was submitting the motion with the backing of MDP Vice President Mohamed Shifaaz.
According to the motion, due to the current laws of governance and elections formed under the Constitution of the Maldives, it was difficult for one political party to fully govern the country with absolute power even if it wins the Presidential Election due to having to form an alliance with opposing parties. The motion states that an alliance would deter the ruling party from fulfilling presidential pledges, instead having to focus on fulfilling the needs of members of the alliance first. Moreover, this damages the ruling party’s reputation and causes a loss of public trust.
In order to resolve this, the motion proposes holding a public referendum to change the governance system to a Parliamentary System where the government would be headed by a Prime Minister who would also be a member of the parliament from the party that holds the majority seats in the parliament and the state would be headed by a President.
The motion also proposes that the President would be elected through a public vote and powers vested to the President as well as the Prime Minister must be clearly stipulated in the Constitution and to compile a ‘National List of MPs’ to make sure that the number of MPs does not exceed 87.
Furthermore, the motion stipulates that amendments must be brought to the Constitution to ease the transition and also to reduce Supreme Court justices to five while also overhauling the Judicial Service Commission.
Maldives held a public referendum on the presidential system (Riyaasee Nizaam) and parliamentary system (Barulamaanee Nizaam) back in 2007 under Maumoon’s presidency. However, 62% of the 149,380 votes favored a presidential system at the time.