The Chairperson of the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), Fayyaz Ismail, announced that the party has communicated its willingness to hold a constitutional referendum to The Democrats, following this year’s presidential elections. The first round of the presidential elections, which took place on September 9th, saw MDP’s candidate, President Solih, secure 39 percent of the votes, securing the second position. The opposition coalition of the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and the People’s National Congress (PNC) candidate, Dr. Mohamed Muizzu, secured the highest number of votes with 46 percent. The Democrats secured the third position, garnering 7.18 percent of the votes, making them a favorable party for potential coalition formation in the runoff.
However, The Democrats has stipulated a condition for entering into a coalition agreement, namely, the holding of a constitutional referendum. Fayyaz Ismail, MDP’s Chairperson, clarified that the party is not willing to hold a constitutional referendum before the runoff elections but is open to the possibility of holding it afterward. He confirmed that this decision has been conveyed to The Democrats, stating, “We have informed them that we are agreeable to hold a constitutional referendum after the election.”
The Democrats has been pushing for a constitutional referendum on September 25th. The opposition coalition of PPM-PNC has rejected this condition, and former President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom, who is imprisoned, has declined to meet with The Democrats’ influential figure, Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed.
The ongoing discussions primarily involve The Democrats and MDP. The stance of The Democrats for the presidential election runoff is expected to be officially determined during an interim council meeting scheduled for 9:00 pm tonight.
It’s worth noting that The Democrats emerged as a breakaway faction from MDP due to significant divisions between pro-government and anti-government members. Former MDP members who joined The Democrats have previously criticized the government and levied significant allegations.