Qasim Ibrahim, the leader of the Jumhooree Party, has firmly rejected a proposal from a faction within the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) to transition the country’s government system from a presidential to a parliamentary system.
The proposal was put forward by Fikuregge Dhirun, faction formed by Mohamed Nasheed . Nasheed formed this faction after losing the MDP’s presidential ticket to President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih in February. Since then, Nasheed has refused to endorse President Solih for the upcoming September election.
Although the Jumhooree Party is currently part of the ruling coalition, it has decided to contest the presidential election separately. Nasheed’s team has been in discussions with JP officials to explore possibilities for cooperation in the election. One of the proposals presented by Nasheed’s team was the transition to a parliamentary system if Qasim Ibrahim were to be elected president.
A source from the Jumhooree Party quoted Qasim as expressing his opposition to changing the government system, highlighting the association of the party name “Jumhooree” with a presidential system. The source revealed that Qasim emphasized that the existing system was established through a popular vote after the adoption of the current Green constitution, in which he played a significant role in drafting.
During a breakfast meeting with senior JP leaders at Paradise Resort, Qasim reiterated the party’s commitment to a republic and stated that the party cannot support a parliamentary system. The source also mentioned the possibility of inviting Nasheed to join the Jumhooree Party. Source further indicated that Nasheed’s team was aware of Qasim’s stance against changing the government system. However, discussions between the Jumhooree Party and President Nasheed’s team are ongoing to find common ground on other issues.
Qasim has consistently opposed the transition to a parliamentary system in the past and has expressed his views publicly. On the other hand, Nasheed openly advocates for a parliamentary system but has not received much support from President Solih, who has stated that it is not a priority for his administration.