Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) and Parliament Speaker, Mohamed Nasheed, have suggested holding a constitutional referendum if the Jumhoory Party’s (JP) presidential candidate, Qasim Ibrahim, wins the upcoming presidential election. Nasheed has presented several proposals to the JP, including electing a president for a term of five years through a secret parliamentary vote, creating the post of prime minister in the cabinet, and electing a prime minister through a parliamentary vote. He has also suggested that the prime minister be given the power to create political posts and appoint individuals for political posts under the instructions of the president.
Nasheed has additionally proposed that the prime minister be appointed to represent the government in parliament, and that the cabinet be chosen from parliament. He has recommended including the total number of parliamentarians in the People’s Majlis in the law, and electing MPs through a preferential voting method. These proposals could potentially lead to Nasheed becoming the prime minister if Qasim is elected president, with Nasheed responsible for all policy-making and decisions.
However, it remains uncertain whether the JP will accept these proposals, given Qasim’s past comments against a parliamentary governance system in the Maldives. If the JP leadership does not accept these proposals, it raises questions about whether Nasheed will leave the newly-formed coalition before the upcoming election. Furthermore, it seems unlikely that the JP will accept these proposals, as they contradict Qasim’s previous stance on parliamentary governance.
The proposed constitutional changes would significantly alter the political system in the Maldives, potentially resulting in Nasheed becoming the prime minister with significant powers. However, it remains to be seen whether the JP will accept these proposals, and if not, what the consequences will be for the upcoming election and the newly-formed coalition.