Friday 1st Jul 2022
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President Yameen

Yameen Calls On President Solih To Hold Public Referendum On Support For Presence of Indian Military In The Maldives

The opposition leader, former President Abdullah Yameen has called on President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih to hold a referendum on whether the Maldivian public approved of an Indian military presence in the Maldives.
The former President said this during his stop at Thulusdhoo (Kaafu Atoll) in his tour of the atoll to gain support for the "India Out" movement; a grassroots movement that called for the removal of Indian military assets and personnel, and the cancellation of classified military agreements between the Solih administration and India, which had later been adopted by the opposition. Speaking to the crowd of supporters who had gathered to greet him in Thulusdhoo, the former President said that he had heard tell that the powers of government began with the people.
"[The ruling MDP] are keen to consistently remind us that the powers of government begin with the people, that the right to rule was granted by the people. Now, I wish to tell them that I am very enthusiastic about those democratic powers", said former President Yameen. "The people do not want the Indian military here", he said.
In addition, he said that the Constitution gave the President the right to hold a referendum, a right which he called upon President Solih to use.
Referring to Speaker Mohamed Nasheed's ongoing efforts to convert the Maldivian system of government to a parliamentary system, the former President said that finding out the public's opinion regarding the presence of Indian troops in the country was more important than overturning the ecisting system of government for another. The former President said that that vote would also indicate the current popularity that the Solih administration enjoys.
The former President said that India continued to interfere with the internal affairs of the Maldives, and he said such should not be the actions of a friendly neighbour.