During a recent MDP National Council meeting, MDP’s leader, Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed proposed that a referendum be done to switch the system of governance in Maldives. He also listed a number of amendments that he believes are changes that is needed in the constitution.
While many shared the same ideology as him and believed that parliamentary system is a better option for Maldives than a Presidential system, people in the opposition begged to differ.
PNC’s Leader Abdul Raheem Abdulla (Adhurey) speaking at a rally held at R. Meedhoo, as part of the opposition coalition’s ‘India Out’ campaign stated that MDP’s size today stands only at 30 percent which is why Nasheed is pushing this agenda ahead before the upcoming presidential election commences.
Among the many amendments proposed by Nasheed, he added the part where in if a candidates wins over 30 percent of votes, the constitution must declare the candidate as winner of presidential elections. In circumstances where no candidate bags the said percentage of votes, a second round of voting will be held between the two candidates and who wins the greatest number of votes will be declared as winner.
Right now the voting system in Maldives requires that the candidate participating in the presidential elections must acquire at least 51 percent votes to be declared as winner and if no one meets the criteria, a second round of voting is held.
The vision behind Nasheed proposing for the said changes is because ever since the birth of democracy in Maldives, no political party has been able to come to power without contesting for the position twice or without forming a coalition.
If we look at the 2013 elections, former President Yameen received about 25 percent of the votes in the first round while Nasheed received 45 percent but it was annulled because of the 50 percent system. In the second round of voting, Yameen formed coalition and with the support he received 50 percent of the votes which made him win the elections. For events like this to stop occurring in future elections, a more stable electoral process must be introduced which caters towards this problem.
Adhurey stressed that even if the amendments are made, MDP will not come to power— adding that this was evident from the Komandoo by-elections.Komandoo by-elections was held in 5th feb 2022. Mohamed Raashid from MDP won the elections.