The Democrats have submitted a motion to Parliament, calling for a general vote to gauge public opinion on a change in the governance system. The motion, submitted by Hulhudhoo MP and The Democrats’ presidential candidate, Ilyas Labeeb, seeks to bring this crucial issue before the public for consideration, with the aim of holding the vote before November 30, 2023.
Ilyas Labeeb, who contested the first round of the presidential election as The Democrats’ candidate, underscored the pressing need for this change. He argued that, instead of being able to vote for policies and initiatives that address their needs, the Maldivian electorate is often compelled to cast their ballots to oust administrations due to unmet public demands.
One of the key issues highlighted by Ilyas is the recurring pattern of no candidate securing more than 50 percent of the votes in the first round of the presidential election without forming alliances. While these alliances may be initially formed to gain a majority, they often lead to internal disagreements and conflicts during the term, hindering the administration’s ability to focus on development.
The proposal for a public vote on the governance system represents a significant step in the country’s political discourse. The last such vote took place on August 18, 2007, during the presidency of Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, where the public decided to maintain the presidential system.